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

Adrenochrome-induced coronary artery constriction in the rat heart.

Adrenochrome, an oxidation product of epinephrine, has been demonstrated to produce cardiotoxic effects. In this study, we have investigated whether this agent can alter coronary resistance in isolated rat hearts. Concentrations of adrenochrome from 1 to 1000 ng/ml increased coronary pressure in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The highest concentration produced a 3-fold elevation in pressure after a 1-hr perfusion. Myocardial contractile force decreased only with either 100 or 1000 ng/ml of adrenochrome and this effect was evident after substantial elevations in coronary pressure. The elevation in coronary pressure was significantly reduced by two calcium antagonists, verapamil and D-600. Furthermore, the degree of constriction by adrenochrome was dependent on the CaCl2 concentration in the perfusion medium. High concentrations of indomethacin or propranolol attenuated the degree of coronary pressure elevation, whereas acetylsalicylic acid and phenoxybenzamine were without effect. Sulfinpyrazone, which has been shown to reduce the arrhythmogenic action of adrenochrome in vivo, significantly reduced the coronary pressure increases. These results suggest that adrenochrome is a potent coronary constricting agent in the rat heart and its action is seemingly dependent on external Ca++ availability.[1]


  1. Adrenochrome-induced coronary artery constriction in the rat heart. Karmazyn, M., Beamish, R.E., Fliegel, L., Dhalla, N.S. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. (1981) [Pubmed]
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