Amine sulfate formation in the central nervous system

Fed Proc. 1986 Jul;45(8):2247-53.


The sulfates of norepinephrine, dopamine (DA), and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5HT]) are present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of laboratory animals and humans. The amounts of sulfated amines in human CSF always greatly exceed the amounts of the free amines. The enzyme responsible for sulfation, phenol sulfotransferase (PST) (EC, has been detected in the brain tissue of several species, including humans. PST in the human brain has a high affinity for the amines but it is a low-capacity enzyme. Accordingly, sulfation appears to be of greater significance in the economy of the amines under quiescent conditions than during conditions of increased release of transmitter. Recent evidence suggests that a fraction of the conjugated amines in CSF enters from plasma because in the African green monkey, DA sulfate and 5HT sulfate cross the blood-CSF barrier after i.v. injection. In addition, in humans there are no increases in the concentration of amine sulfates from lumbar to ventricular CSF that would also be compatible with a partly peripheral origin for the amine sulfates. However, it appears that at least a portion of the amine sulfates in CSF originate in the central nervous system because the ratios of [CSF amine sulfates]/[plasma sulfates] are never as high after i.v. injection as under basal conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Carbidopa / pharmacology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Dopamine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dopamine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Homovanillic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / pharmacology
  • Norepinephrine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Norepinephrine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Serotonin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Serotonin / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Sulfurtransferases / metabolism*


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • 5-hydroxytryptamine O-sulfate
  • Serotonin
  • dopamine 4-O-sulfate
  • dopamine glucuronide
  • Levodopa
  • dopamine 3-O-sulfate
  • noradrenaline sulfate
  • Sulfurtransferases
  • Arylsulfotransferase
  • Carbidopa
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Homovanillic Acid