Dopamine receptors, controlling dopamine levels in rat adrenal glands-comparison with central dopaminergic autoreceptors

J Neural Transm Gen Sect. 1991;84(3):195-209. doi: 10.1007/BF01244970.


Previous work in this laboratory, as well as observations reported in the literature, indicate that the adrenal medulla contains dopamine (DA) receptors of the D-2 subtype, which among other things are capable of controlling the DA level in rat adrenal glands. To further characterize the DA receptors involved in the control of the adrenal DA level, the effects of 9 DA receptor agonists with various intrinsic activities were compared. After various periods of drug administration the rats were killed by decapitation and the DA content of the adrenal glands and the DOPAC content of the forebrain were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. All the investigated DA receptors agonists caused an increase in adrenal DA level, although statistical significance was not reached in one case [(-)-HW 165]. Domperidone, a DA D-2 receptor antagonist which does not readily cross the blood brain barrier, blocked the DA-elevating effects of apomorphine, quinpirole, B-HT 920 and both enantiomers of 3-PPP. For the two ergolines terguride and SDZ 208-920 the blockade by domperidone was not complete, suggesting that their effects are mediated not only through DA, but also through other receptor systems. The dose of domperidone used (3 mg/kg) had but a marginal influence on brain DOPAC levels, supporting the almost exclusively peripheral effect of this agent. Our data indicate that the DA D-2 receptors which control the DA level in the adrenal medulla in rats, have characteristics similar to, though not identical with the autoreceptors in the forebrain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / analysis
  • Adrenal Medulla / drug effects
  • Adrenal Medulla / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Azepines / pharmacology
  • Diencephalon / drug effects
  • Diencephalon / metabolism*
  • Domperidone / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology*
  • Epinephrine / analysis
  • Ergolines / pharmacology
  • Lisuride / analogs & derivatives
  • Lisuride / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / analysis
  • Phenanthrenes / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Quinpirole
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Dopamine / classification
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects
  • Receptors, Dopamine / physiology*
  • Telencephalon / drug effects
  • Telencephalon / metabolism*


  • Azepines
  • Dopamine Agents
  • Ergolines
  • Phenanthrenes
  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • N-(2-chloro-6-methylergoline-8-yl)-2,2-dimethylpropanamide
  • HW 162
  • Quinpirole
  • dironyl
  • Domperidone
  • talipexole
  • HW 165
  • preclamol
  • Lisuride
  • Apomorphine
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine