Document Detail

Ontogeny of enkephalin and catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes in the primate fetal adrenal medulla.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2427537     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Adrenal medullary cells in adult primates contain catecholamines and several neuropeptides. Among these peptides are several products of the three opiate precursor proteins: proenkephalin, prodynorphin, and proopiomelanocortin. We used immunocytochemistry to study the ontogeny of leu-enkephalin and the catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes dopamine beta-hydroxylase and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase in adjacent sections of 14 fetal rhesus and 31 fetal human adrenal glands. The adrenal medulla of a 24-week-old human fetus as well as medullas of 11 134- to 172-day-old rhesus fetuses were immunopositive with all 3 antisera employed. Furthermore, in thin serial sections of these glands, dopamine beta-hydroxylase, phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, and leu-enkephalin appeared to be colocalized in the same cells of the adrenal medulla. Twenty-six adrenals from fetuses 15-26 weeks stained lightly with one or more of the antisera. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase could be detected at 15 weeks, followed by leu-enkephalin and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase at 18-19 weeks. The role of the enkephalins during fetal life or in the adaptation to extrauterine life is not yet clear. In adults, enkephalins are cosecreted with catecholamines in response to stress. Our results suggest that the fetal adrenal may be capable of cosecretion of catecholamines and enkephalins, at least by the end of the second trimester of gestation.
L A Wilburn; P C Goldsmith; K J Chang; R B Jaffe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism     Volume:  63     ISSN:  0021-972X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.     Publication Date:  1986 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1986-10-15     Completed Date:  1986-10-15     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375362     Medline TA:  J Clin Endocrinol Metab     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  974-80     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Medulla / embryology*,  enzymology
Catecholamines / biosynthesis*
Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / metabolism
Enkephalin, Leucine / metabolism
Enkephalins / biosynthesis*
Fetus / enzymology
Immunoenzyme Techniques
Macaca mulatta
Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase / metabolism
Staining and Labeling
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Catecholamines; 0/Enkephalins; 58822-25-6/Enkephalin, Leucine; EC beta-Hydroxylase; EC N-Methyltransferase

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