In mammals, the sympathetic neurotransmitter is norepinephrine (NE), and the main adrenomedullary hormone is epinephrine (EPI). The sources and physiological roles of the third endogenous catecholamine, dopamine (DA), outside the brain have been obscure. Several lines of evidence suggest that in the periphery, rather than DA serving only as the precursor for the active compounds, released from sympathetic nerves and the adrenal medulla, DA may also act as an autocrine/paracrine regulator of local organ function. Thus, in the kidneys, most of DA formation appears to be from proximal tubular uptake of plasma DOPA, and binding of locally formed DA to dopaminergic receptors decreases Na/K ATPase activity and thereby accentuates natriuresis. In the gastric mucosa, DA may modulate sodium absorption and acid secretion. Recent clinical and laboratory animal evidence has indicated that the lungs and mesenteric organs contribute substantially to total body production and metabolism of DA. Generation of DA in non-noradrenergic, non-adrenergic cells can explain why human urine contains higher concentrations of DA and its metabolites than of NE and its metabolites. The vast preponderance of plasma DA in humans is sulfoconjugated. Since patients with sympathoneural failure have normal plasma levels of DA sulfate, one may speculate that the sulfoconjugating mechanism is relatively independent of sympathetic nerves and acts to localize DA effects and inactivate DA entering the circulation. These considerations lead to the concept of a third peripheral catecholaminergic system, where DA derived from plasma DOPA acts as an autocrine/paracrine substance and is inactivated by conjugation.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Hypertension Research - Clinical and Experimental|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 1|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|