Increased Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity after Drug-induced Alteration of Sympathetic Transmission


AFTER the destruction of sympathetic nerve endings by 6-hydroxydopamine1,2, there is a compensatory increase in the catecholamine synthesis and tyrosine hydroxylase activity in the adrenal gland3. We have examined the actions of reserpine and phenoxybenzamine on adrenal tyrosine hydroxylase activity. These drugs, like 6-hydroxydopamine2, interfere with postganglionic sympathetic transmission, but by different mechanisms4–6. We also studied the alterations of this enzyme in an embryologically related tissue, the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion. Reserpine and phenoxybenzamine increased the activity of adrenal tyrosine hydroxylase, and reserpine also increased the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase in the superior cervical ganglion. This increase in enzyme activity was prevented by interruption of nerve impulses by decentralization.


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THOENEN, H., MUELLER, R. & AXELROD, J. Increased Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity after Drug-induced Alteration of Sympathetic Transmission. Nature 221, 1264 (1969).

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