Electrical stimulation of preganglionic nerves is known to increase norepinephrine synthesis in the rat superior cervical ganglion in vitro, an effect which appears to be partially regulated by a non-cholinergic transmitter. In the present study, we sought to determine whether sympathetic stimulation also increases norepinephrine synthesis in the rat ganglion in vivo, and whether dopamine released from ganglionic interneurons might regulate this response. To tackle these questions, rats were pretreated with spiroperidol, a selective dopamine-receptor blocker, and then were sympathetically stimulated by exposure to severe hypoxic stress. Other rats were pretreated with vehicle alone before the hypoxic exposure. Norepinephrine synthesis in ganglia was assessed by measuring endogenous tyrosine hydroxylase activity and norepinephrine turnover. We found that hypoxic stress increased both of these indices of norepinephrine synthesis, but only in rats pretreated with spiroperidol. No such response was detected in rats pretreated with vehicle. These results indicate that sympathetic stimulation increases norepinephrine synthesis in the rat superior cervical ganglion in vivo, and that dopamine released from interneurons might regulate this response.
- Catecholamine turnover
- Hypoxic stree
- Small intensely fluorescent (SIF) cell
- Superior cervical ganglion
- Tyrosine hydroxylase activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology