Adrenal medulla (rat)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The effects of a single high dose (10mg/kg) of vinblastine (vb) sulfate (“Velbe”, Lilly) on the ultrastructure, catecholamine (CA) content and activity of CA-synthesizing enzymes of the rat adrenal medulla were studied for up to 120h after intravenous injection of the drug. By 1 h, microtubules were virtually absent from chromaffin cells and preganglionic cholinergic axons, and typical paracrystals had appeared inside the nerve fibers. By 16h microtubules were completely reconstituted and paracrystals had disappeared. From 16h onwards, there was an increasing depletion of storage granules from adrenaline (A) — producing cells, which coincided with biochemical determinations showing a reduction of adrenal A to about 40 % of control levels by 48 h, with noradrenaline (NA) remaining in the range of controls. Both A- and NA-storing cells showed an extensive proliferation of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Vb caused a marked increase in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; +113%) and dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH; +82%) activities after 48 h. Splanchnicotomy completely abolished the vb-mediated increase in TH and DBH activities. A smaller increase (+ 47 %) in enzyme activity was observed with phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). Vb (10−5M) had no apparent effect on granule content and the amount of rough ER in chromaffin cells, which were cultured for 48 h. The results demonstrate that a single high dose of vb has relatively little short-term effects on the rat adrenal medulla, but causes drastic long-term changes in CA-content and enzyme activities that are mediated by the preganglionic nerves. These changes could be interpreted as an effort to compensate for a loss of CA-stores in peripheral adrenergic nerves (cf. Cheney et al., 1973). The differential long-term effect of vb on adrenal NA and A might be due to the lower induction of PNMT as compared to TH and DBH activities and/or to a preferential release of A versus NA, which may occur at high frequencies of stimulation of the splanchnic nerves.
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