Blood pressure (BP), hypothalamic tissue concentrations and the in vivo overflow of endogenous and α-methylated catecholamines were measured in urethane anaesthetised rats after α-methylDOPA (mDOPA) administration (200 mg/kg i.p.). Four hours after mDOPA, BP fell to its lowest value, 60% of control, and slowly returned towards control levels by 24 h. This was closely correlated with the evoked overflow of α-methylnoradrenaline (mNA, r = 0.9) and noradrenaline (NA, r = 0.7) but not dopamine (DA) or α-methyldopamine (mDA). However, the tissue content of mNA rose much more gradually and was not maximal until after 12 h while mDA content followed the development of the hypotension. The result provide direct evidence for a false transmitter role for mNA in the brain, and suggest that the release of newly synthesised mNA is responsible for the hypotensive effect of mDOPA. Differences in the time course of overflow and storage of NA and mNA suggest the presence of separate transmitter storage and releasable pools.
- Catecholamine overflow (endogenous and methylated)
- Microdialysis (in vivo)