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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of precursors on the synthesis of catecholamines and on neurotransmission in the superior cervical ganglion of the rat.

Male Sprague-Dawley rats (325-350 g) were anesthetized with urethane (1.5 g/kg i.p.) and treated with physiological saline, Aspartame (APM; 552 mumols/kg), or tyrosine (Tyr; 552 mumols/kg). Ganglionic transmission and the synthesis of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE) were measured in the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) following electrical stimulation of the cervical sympathetic trunk (CST). When the CST was stimulated with single pulses, neither APM nor Tyr affected the synthesis of NE or DA. However, in response to low- (5 Hz, 20 s) and high- (20 Hz, 20 s) frequency pulses, the metabolism of DA was increased (p less than 0.05), but to the same extent after saline, APM, or Tyr. In rats stimulated with similar low- and high-frequency pulses, the synthesis of NE was increased significantly (p less than 0.05) after Tyr, but not after APM or saline. In saline-treated controls, ganglionic transmission was not changed in response to single pulses, or low- or high-frequency stimulation. However, after treatment with APM, ganglionic transmission was depressed significantly (p less than 0.01) in response to high-frequency stimulation (single: 0.46 +/- 0.09 mV; low: 0.39 +/- 0.07 mV; high: 0.27 +/- 0.07 mV). After treatment with Tyr, ganglionic transmission was depressed significantly (p less than 0.05) in response to both low- and high-frequency stimulation (single: 0.44 +/- 0.04 mV; low: 0.22 +/- 0.12 mV; high: 0.26 +/- 0.07 mV). In the nonstimulated SCG, L-3,4-dihydroxy-phenylalanine (25 mg/kg) caused a rapid, significant (p less than 0.01) increase in the synthesis and metabolism of DA, but not of NE.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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