External Ca-independent release of norepinephrine by sympathomimetics and its role in negative feedback modulation

E. S. Vizi, G. T. Somogyi, L. G. Harsing, I. Zimanyi

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The release of [3H]norepinephrine from isolated mouse vas deferens has been measured. 1-Phenylephrine and 1-norepinephrine significantly enhanced the spontaneous release of radioactivity. As shown by a combination of HPLC and scintillation spectrometry, the release of total radioactivity in response to 1-phenylephrine or 1-norepinephrine consisted mainly of [3H]norepinephrine. Evidence has been obtained that the release of endogenous norepinephrine by exogenous norepinephrine and 1-phenylephrine is independent of the external Ca2+ concentration. The released endogenous norepinephrine in turn inhibits the release of norepinephrine in response to electrical field stimulation. In the presence of yohimbine, the enhancement of spontaneous release due to 1-phenylephrine (or to 1-norepinephrine) was not affected, whereas there was a significant superimposed release of [3H]norepinephrine in response to field stimulation, indicating that the inhibition of stimulation-induced norepinephrine release is an α2-adrenoceptor-mediated process. An important consequence of these findings is to question previous interpretations that the effects of administration of 1-norepinephrine or 1-phenylephrine are due exclusively to their direct effects on the effector cells. The Ca-independent release of endogenous norepinephrine might partly initiate their pharmacological responses. It is concluded that this Ca-independent release is of functional importance, since norepinephrine may accumulate in a concentration sufficient to modulate the release of norepinephrine from varicosities in response to electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8775-8779
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1985


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