, Volume 337, Issue 4, pp 397-405

The uptake and O-methylation of 3H-(±)-isoprenaline in rat cerebral cortex slices

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The O-methylation and accumulation of 3H-isoprenaline in slices of the rat cerebral cortex were studied before and after inhibition of COMT. 1. Inhibition of COMT by μmol/l U-0521 virtually abolished the O-methylation and increased the accumulation of 3H-isoprenaline; hence, there is evidence for the existence of a central O-methylating system (with a transport mechanism and intracellular COMT). 2. Experiments were carried out with selective uptake inhibitors for uptake, (cocaine and desipramine) or uptake2 (corticosterone and OMI), with phenoxybenzamine (known to inhibit both carriers) and with changes in the ionic composition of the incubation medium. They revealed that the central carrier differed from both, uptake, and uptake2, although exhibiting some resemblance with uptake2 (lack of dependence on Na+ and Cl, sensitivity to K+ and phenoxybenzamine, ability to transport 3H-isoprenaline). 3. Although the central carrier was rather sensitive to inhibition by beta-adrenoceptor antagonists (propranolol, carteolol), the effect of propranolol was not stereoselective; hence, beta-adrenoceptors do not seem to be involved. 4. Virtually identical IC30-values were obtained for inhibitors, when determined with or without inhibition of COMT. Only OMI was found to inhibit COMT as well as the central transport system; hence it was more potent in inhibiting the O-methylation than the accumulation of 3H-isoprenaline. 5. IC50-values (against initial rates of accumulation of 3H-isoprenaline; COMT inhibited) were determined for various substrates and inhibitors of peripheral uptake2. There was no correlation with the IC50-values determined earlier for uptake2 in rat heart (Grohmann and Trendelenburg 1984). 6. Unlabelled catecholamines half saturated the intracellular COMT when slices were incubated with 0.22 μmol/l [(±)-dobutamine] to 4.9 μmol/l [(−)-noradrenaline]. As the presence of unlabelled catecholamines increased tissue levels of 3H-isoprenaline, catecholamines are substrates of the central carrier. 7. The carrier of the central O-methylating system differs from uptake2 of peripheral organs, although it resembles the peripheral carrier in some respects.

Supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Tr 96 and SFB 176) and by a scholarship of the Royal Society for V. G. Wilson. Some of the results were presented to the British Pharmacological Society (Trendelenburg and Wilson 1986)