The role of extraneuronal amine transport systems for the removal of extracellular catecholamines in the rabbit

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1996 Aug-Sep;354(3):275-86. doi: 10.1007/BF00171058.


As selective inhibitors of the extraneuronal monoamine uptake system (uptake2) suitable for in-vivo studies were not available, the question of whether uptake2 plays a definite role in vivo is largely unresolved. We attempted to resolve the question by using 1,1'-diisopropyl-2,4'-cyanine iodide (disprocynium24), a novel agent that blocks uptake2 in vitro with high potency. Anaesthetized rabbits were infused with 3H-labelled noradrenaline, adrenaline and dopamine, and catecholamine plasma clearances as well as rates of spillover of endogenous catecholamines into plasma were measured before and during treatment with either disprocynium24 or vehicle. Four groups of animals were studied: group I, no further treatment: group II, monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibited; group III, neuronal uptake (uptake1) inhibited; group IV, uptake1 as well as MAO and COMT inhibited. Disprocynium24 (270 nmol kg-1 i.v. followed by an i.v. infusion of 80 nmol kg-1 min-1) did not alter heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure, but increased cardiac output by 22% and decreased the total peripheral vascular resistance by 16% with no difference between groups. When compared with vehicle controls, catecholamine clearances (normalized for the cardiac output of plasma) were decreased and spillover rates increased in response to disprocynium24. Although there were statistically significant between-group differences in baseline clearances (which decreased in the order: group I > group II > group III > group IV), the drug-induced clearance reductions relative to vehicle controls were similar in groups I to IV and amounted to 29-38% for noradrenaline, 22-31% for adrenaline and 16-22% for dopamine. Hence, there was still a significant % reduction in catecholamine clearances even after the combined inhibition of MAO and COMT, and there was no increase in the % reduction of clearances after inhibition of uptake1. Noradrenaline spillover increased in response to disprocynium24 in all four groups by 1.6- to 1.9-fold, whereas a 1.5- to 2.0-fold increase in adrenaline and dopamine spillover was observed in groups II and IV only. The results indicate that disprocynium24 interferes with the removal of circulating catecholamines not only by inhibiting uptake2, but also by inhibiting related organic cation transporters. As disprocynium24 increased the spillover of endogenous catecholamines into plasma even after inhibition of MAO and COMT, organic cation transporters may also be involved in the removal of endogenous catecholamines before they enter the circulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase / pharmacology*
  • Catecholamines / blood*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Epinephrine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
  • Quinolines / pharmacokinetics
  • Quinolines / pharmacology*
  • Rabbits


  • Adrenergic Agonists
  • Catecholamines
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
  • Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
  • Quinolines
  • disprocynium 24
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase
  • Epinephrine