Letter | Published:

Distribution of Homovanillic Acid in the Human Brain

Nature volume 204, pages 587588 (07 November 1964) | Download Citation

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Abstract

HOMOVANILLIC acid (3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, HVA) is formed by the action of the enzymes monoamine oxidase and catechol-O-methyl-transferase as a final product of dopamine metabolism, and its occurrence in urine has been described1–6. From other investigations7,8 it may be concluded that in experimental conditions the HVA level in the brain tissue reflects the dopamine turnover, although with a certain delay. It also seems likely that for the normal brain tissue a similar statement may be made. The actual HVA concentration in the normal brain tissue, therefore, might be a suitable index in the evaluation of the local dopamine turnover. Sharman9 has recently demonstrated the presence of HVA in the caudate nucleus of animals of several species. This seems consistent with the high dopamine concentration in this brain area10. Detailed investigations have been performed on the local distribution of dopamine in the human brain11–15. This account describes the occurrence and local distribution of HVA in the human brain.

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Affiliations

  1. Pharmakologisches Institut der Universität, Vienna, Austria.

    • H. BERNHEIMER

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/204587b0

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