Neural Mechanisms Regulating Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase Gene Expression

  • Dona L. Wong
  • T. C. Tai
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 53)


Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to stimulate hormonal and neural regulatory pathways leading to the release of glucocorticoids and epinephrine into the bloodstream. This response is the classic fight or flight mechanism originally described by Walter B. Cannon in the 1900s.1 It permits the organism to meet the challenge of a stressor, whether environmental, physiological or psychological. Eventually, however, homeostasis must be restored to ensure the organism’s survival. The latter occurs through the activation of inhibitory hormonal and neural feedback pathways impacting each level of the axis to suppress further glucocorticoid and epinephrine production and release.


PC12 Cell Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activate Polypeptide Splanchnic Nerve PACI Receptor PNMT Gene 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    W. G. Cannon and D. De La Paz, Emotional stimulation of adrenal secretion, Am J. Physiol., 28, 64–70 (1911).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. L. Patrick and N. Kirschner, Acetylcholine-induced stimulation of catecholamine recovery in denervated rat adrenals after reserpine-induced depletion, Mol. Pharmacol., 7, 389–396 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    M. K. Stachowiak, J. S. Hong and O. H. Viveros, Coordinate and differential regulation of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase, tyrosine hydroxylase and proenkephalin mRNAs by neural and hormonal mechanisms in cultured bovine adrenal medullary cells, Brain Res., 510, 277–288 (1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. J. Evinger, P. Ernsberger, S. Regunathan, T. H. Joh and D. J. Reis, A single transmitter regulates gene expression through two separate mechanisms: Cholinergic regulation of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase mRNA via nicotinic and muscarinic pathways., J. Neurosci., 14, 2106–2116 (1994).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    K. Morita and D. L. Wong, Role of Egr-1 in cholinergic stimulation of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase promoter, J. Neurochem., 67, 1344–1351 (1996).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    C. Tonshoff, L. Hemmick and M. J. Evinger, Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) regulates expression of catecholamine biosynthetic enzyme genes in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, J. Mol. Neurosci., 9, 127–140 (1997).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    H. J. Choi, S. Y. Park and O. Hwang, Differential involvement of PKA and PKC in regulation of catecholamine enzyme genes by PACAP, Peptides, 20, 817–822 (1999).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    D. Vaudry, B. J. Gonzalez, M. Basille, L. Yon, A. Fournier and H. Vaudry, Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activatin polypeptide and its receptors: From structure to functions, Pharmacological Reviews, 52, 269–324 (2000).PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dona L. Wong
  • T. C. Tai
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical School and McLean HospitalBelmontUSA

Personalised recommendations