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

Effect of hydrocortisone on catecholamines and the enzymes synthesizing them in the developing sympathetic ganglion.

Newborn rats were daily injected with 0.2 mg hydrocortisone acetate for seven days. They were killed 1, 7 or 21 days after the last injection, together with untreated controls. Hydrocortisone caused a great increase in the number of the small, intensely fluorescent (SIF) cells and the appearance of similar small cells with intense immunohistochemical reactions for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) and phenylethanolamine (noradrenaline) N-methyltransferase (PNMT) in the superior cervical ganglion. At the same time, the adrenaline content and the PNMT activity of the ganglion greatly increased, while no significant changes were observed in the dopamine or noradrenaline content or TH or DBH activity. All these changes essentially disappeared after a recovery period of seven or 21 days. It is concluded that hydrocortisone caused a temporary increase in the number of SIF cells by causing a synthesis of TH, DBH and PNMT in previously existing small, non-fluorescent cells, which start to synthesize and store adrenaline, thus becoming intensely fluorescent SIF cells. These SIF cells are different from the normal SIF cells of the same ganglion, most of which appear at a later stage of postnatal development when response to hydrocortisone is lost, which contain TH but neither DBH nor PNMT, and which permanently remain in the ganglion.[1]


  1. Effect of hydrocortisone on catecholamines and the enzymes synthesizing them in the developing sympathetic ganglion. Eränkö, O., Pickel, V.M., Härkönen, M., Eränko, L., Joh, T.H., Reis, D.J. Histochem. J. (1982) [Pubmed]
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