Dopamine is taken up from the circulation by, and released from, local noradrenergic varicose axon terminals in zona glomerulosa of the rat: A neurochemical and immunocytochemical study

E. S. Vizi, I. E. Toth, E. Orso, K. S. Szalay, D. Szabo, M. Baranyi, G. P. Vinson

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The effect of supramaximal electric field stimulation on [3H]dopamine (DA) release by rat adrenal capsule-glomerulosa preparations was studied using a microvolume perfusion system. When the tissues were preloaded with [3H]DA, a considerable amount of [3H]DA and [3H]noradrenaline (NA) were released in response to field stimuli. Reserpinization, calcium removal or tetrodotoxin blocking of Na+ influx all completely inhibited the stimulation-evoked release of DA/NA, indicating that the radioactivity released is of neuronal and vesicular origin. In the adrenal cortex, a substantial proportion of tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine-β-hydroxylase immunoreactive nerve fibres and varicosities were observed around the zona glomerulosa. DA-containing nerves were not seen in the adrenal cortex; however, the same immunocytochemical procedures clearly demonstrated dopaminergic nerve cells and fibres in the substantia nigra and the striatum respectively, and cells of the adrenal medulla. Like the NA release from noradrenergic varicosities in the zona glomerulosa, the DA release from noradrenergic endings is not subject to negative feedback modulation through DA2 receptors since apomorphine, a DA2-receptor agonist, and sulpiride, a selective DA2-receptor antagonist, failed to affect the release. After in-vivo i.v. administration of [3H]DA, the glomerulosa content of DA and NA and the in-vitro release of [3H]DA and [3H]NA of zona glomerulosa both increased, indicating that the local varicose axon terminals were able to accumulate DA from the circulation, convert it into NA and release it in response to neural activity. This local arrangement of noradrenergic axon terminals, able to take up DA from the circulation and release it or convert it into NA, provides the possibility of a fine tuning of local circulation and aldosterone synthesis in the zona glomerulosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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