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

Microspectrofluorometric study of monoamines in the auricle of the heart of Protopterus aethiopicus.

The auricle of the heart of Protopterus aethiopicus contains large numbers of chromaffin cells, often lying immediately adjacent to the endothelium and displaying a bright blue-white fluorescence characteristic for catecholamines after formaldehyde treatment (Falck and Owman 1965). These results combined with X-ray microanalysis after initial fixation with glutaraldehyde and subsequent treatment with dichromate established that these chromaffin cells are the storage site of primary catecholamines (Scheuermann 1978, 1979, 1980; Scheuermann et al. 1980). The aim of the present pilot study was to demonstrate in these cells noradrenaline (NA) or dopamine (DA), or a mixture of both. The evaluation of the excitation spectra of the catecholamine fluorophore transformed by treatment with HCl vapour (excitation maxima at 320 and 370 nm) and the excitation-peak ratio analysis (peak ratio 370/320 nm = 1.05-1.5; and 320/280 nm greater than 1.5) identify DA as the primary catecholamine stored in these chromaffin cells. The low fading rate of the monoamine fluorescence after acidification confirms the presence of DA. These microspectrofluorometric findings demonstrate that chromaffin cells in the auricle of the Protopterus heart, which are a part of the medullary homologue of the adrenal gland of higher vertebrates, contain a primary catecholamine, namely DA.[1]


  1. Microspectrofluorometric study of monoamines in the auricle of the heart of Protopterus aethiopicus. Scheuermann, D.W., Stilman, C., Reinhold, C., De Groodt-Lasseel, M.H. Cell Tissue Res. (1981) [Pubmed]
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