Uptake of 14C-labelled chloroquine and an 125I-labelled chloroquine analogue in some polypeptide hormone producing cell systems

Med Biol. 1976 Feb;54(1):62-8.


After the injection of 14C-labelled chloroquine and the 125I-labelled chloroquine analogue 4-(31-dimethylaminopropylamino)-7-iodoquinoline [125I]DAPQ into mice, rats and a monkey the distribution of the radioactivity was studied by autoradiographical methods. A high and persistent uptake occurred in some endocrine cell systems, such as the pancreatic islets, the hypophysis, the adrenal medulla and the thyroid (in cells that were probably identical with the parafollicular cells). The melanin-containing tissues were the only ones which showed a higher uptake and retention of radioactivity. The above mentioned endocrine cells and the melanocytes have a common embryological origin and common morphological and cytochemical characteristics. They have been called the APUD (Amine Precursor Uptake and Decarboxylation)-cell series. It is proposed that the polypeptide hormone producing cells and the melanocytes may use a similar mechanism for accumulating chloroquine and (as shown earlier) also some other drugs such as nicotine, alprenolol, local anesthetics and atropine. These drugs however, accumulate stronger within the melanocytes and become bound to the melanin for a long time. The ability to accumulate these drugs may be considered another characteristic of the APUD-cell series.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Medulla / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Chloroquine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chloroquine / metabolism*
  • Haplorhini
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Melanins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism


  • Melanins
  • Chloroquine