Demonstration of neuronal and extraneuronal uptake of circulating norepinephrine in the forearm.
Disturbances in peripheral norepinephrine release or removal by neuronal and extraneuronal uptake may have pathogenetic significance in cardiovascular disease states. We investigated the mechanisms of removal of norepinephrine in the forearm of healthy subjects under basal conditions, using measurements of arterial and venous plasma norepinephrine concentrations, blood pressure, heart rate, and forearm blood flow. The specific inhibitor of neuronal uptake, desipramine, was infused intra-arterially into the brachial artery of five subjects. Net norepinephrine overflow from the forearm increased markedly, revealing considerable local release of norepinephrine. Six other subjects received four intra-arterial infusions of norepinephrine, 1.18 pmol/kg/min, with various doses of desipramine and the extraneuronal uptake-inhibiting drug hydrocortisone. The forearm extraction rate for circulating norepinephrine decreased with increasing doses of desipramine (from 69.4 +/- 3.0 [SEM] to 35.3 +/- 8.4%; p less than 0.001). Increasing doses of hydrocortisone during continued inhibition of neuronal uptake resulted in decreased forearm extraction of norepinephrine (from 63.3 +/- 4.9 to 40.6 +/- 4.4%; p less than 0.01). In six other subjects who received the highest dose of hydrocortisone without concomitant inhibition of neuronal uptake, forearm extraction of norepinephrine decreased from 57.1 +/- 4.9 to 51.5 +/- 4.7% (p less than 0.05). These results suggest that neuronal uptake contributes markedly to the removal of circulating and endogenously released norepinephrine in the forearm. For circulating norepinephrine, a corticosteroid-sensitive mechanism of extraneuronal uptake was also demonstrated. These results indicate that neuronal and extraneuronal uptake can be estimated separately in this vascular bed. Similar organ-specific studies in patients may reveal disturbances in mechanisms of norepinephrine removal.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association