Journal of neurochemistry

Effects of aging on p- and m-octopamine, catecholamines, and their metabolizing enzymes in the rat.

PMID 2566654


Functions of octopamine in the mammalian brain are still not well known. An important aspect of this problem is the relationship between octopamines and catecholamines. Previous data have shown that their respective ontogenic evolutions are not parallel. Do the changes in brain related to aging also differentially affect these two groups of molecules? In order to check this point, the brain levels of p- and m-octopamine, p-tyramine, noradrenaline, and dopamine, as well as the activities of metabolizing enzymes, were determined in young adult and aging rats (20-26 months). Unlike catecholamines, there is a drastic decrease of p-octopamine after 20 months of age in the hypothalamus and telencephalon. p-Tyramine levels are also lowered. This change appears to be due to a decrease of the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase activity. These data, as those of ontogenic studies, confirm that p-octopamine and catecholamine metabolisms may have some independent steps and, moreover, that p-octopamine may have a role in the normal activity of the brain.

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