Indexed on: 09 Jul '04Published on: 09 Jul '04Published in: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Catecholamines (CAs) are significantly involved in the regulation of homeostasis of the organism at rest and especially during stressful situations. Stress induces increases in plasma CA (epinephrine and norepinephrine) levels and prolactin (PRL) release from the adenopituitary. We have recently observed that salsolinol, which is produced by the neuro-intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland and by the hypothalamus, can selectively release PRL. Salsolinol is therefore considered to be a putative endogenous PRL-releasing factor. Based on the similarity of CA and PRL responses to stressors, we investigated whether salsolinol plays a role in the regulation of plasma CA levels at rest and of CA release induced by immobilization stress (IMO). Salsolinol did not affect CA baseline levels; however, it did inhibit IMO-induced CA release. Thus, the present study shows for the first time that salsolinol is not only a PRL-releasing factor but is also a potent inhibitor of stress-induced release of epinephrine and norepinephrine.