Significance of dopamine metabolites in the evaluation of drugs acting on dopaminergic neurons.

Institute of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Milan, Via Vanvitelli 32, Milan, Italy
European Journal of Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.68). 12/1978; 52(2):201-7. DOI: 10.1016/0014-2999(78)90207-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The effect of various drugs was studied on 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT) concentrations in rat striatum. The drugs were chosen for their ability to interfere with the dopaminergic system at different levels. Dopamine (DA) acidic metabolites, i.e. homovanillic acid (HVA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), were also measured. Changes of 3-MT, unlike those of DOPAC and HVA, seem to reflect the functional activity of dopaminergic neurons. In fact drugs believed to increase or decrease DA content in the synaptic cleft produce predictable changes of striatal 3-MT. Thus cocaine, nomifensine and d-amphetamine increase 3-MT concentrations while gamma-butyrolactone, alpha-methyltyrosine and apomorphine decrease it.

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