Developing brain as an endocrine organ: secretion of dopamine.

Summary of "Developing brain as an endocrine organ: secretion of dopamine."

This study was aimed to test our hypothesis that the developing brain operates as an endocrine organ before the establishment of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), in rats up to the first postnatal week. Dopamine (DA) was selected as a marker of the brain endocrine activity. The hypothesis was supported by the observations in rats of: (i) the physiological concentration of DA in peripheral blood of fetuses and neonates, before the BBB establishment, and its drop by prepubertal period, after the BBB development; (ii) a drop of the DA concentration in the brain for 54% and in blood for 74% on the 3rd postnatal day after the intraventricular administration of 50 μg of α-methyl-p-tyrosine, an inhibitor of DA synthesis, with no changes in the DA metabolism in peripheral DA-producing organs. Thus, the developing brain is a principal source of circulating DA which is capable of providing an endocrine regulation of peripheral organs and the brain.


Laboratory of Hormonal Regulations, Institute of Developmental Biology RAS, 26 Vavilov Str., Moscow 119334, Russia.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Molecular and cellular endocrinology
ISSN: 1872-8057
Pages: 78-86


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

One of the catecholamine NEUROTRANSMITTERS in the brain. It is derived from TYROSINE and is the precursor to NOREPINEPHRINE and EPINEPHRINE. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. A family of receptors (RECEPTORS, DOPAMINE) mediate its action.

The naturally occurring form of DIHYDROXYPHENYLALANINE and the immediate precursor of DOPAMINE. Unlike dopamine itself, it can be taken orally and crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is rapidly taken up by dopaminergic neurons and converted to DOPAMINE. It is used for the treatment of PARKINSONIAN DISORDERS and is usually given with agents that inhibit its conversion to dopamine outside of the central nervous system.

Drugs that bind to but do not activate DOPAMINE RECEPTORS, thereby blocking the actions of dopamine or exogenous agonists. Many drugs used in the treatment of psychotic disorders (ANTIPSYCHOTIC AGENTS) are dopamine antagonists, although their therapeutic effects may be due to long-term adjustments of the brain rather than to the acute effects of blocking dopamine receptors. Dopamine antagonists have been used for several other clinical purposes including as ANTIEMETICS, in the treatment of Tourette syndrome, and for hiccup. Dopamine receptor blockade is associated with NEUROLEPTIC MALIGNANT SYNDROME.

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A subtype of dopamine D2 receptors that are highly expressed in the LIMBIC SYSTEM of the brain.

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