Effects of Exogenous L-Dopa on the Metabolism of Methionine and S-Adenosylmethionine in the Brain

  • R. J. Wurtman
  • L. A. Ordonez
Part of the Monographien aus dem Gesamtgebiete der Psychiatrie book series (PSYCHIATRIE, volume 18)


The catecholamines dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are metabolized by oxidative deamination and by O-methylation. This latter pathway is catalyzed by the enzyme catechol-O-methyl-transferase (1); it utilizes S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe) as the methyl donor (Fig. 1), and its products are, for the most part, methylated on the metahydroxyl group. The catecholamines themselves are formed within only a few specific tissues in the body (21). These include a relatively small number of brain neurons, postganglionic sympathetic neurons, adrenomedullary chromaffin cells, and interneurons within sympathetic ganglia. The catechol-amines can be O-methylated within their cells of origin, within synapses, or, after secretion into the blood stream, within the liver, kidneys, and other organs.


Methionine Adenosyltransferase Methionine Concentration Postganglionic Sympathetic Neuron Homocysteine Methyltransferase Methyl Group Metabolism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Wurtman
    • 1
  • L. A. Ordonez
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuroendocrine Regulation, Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Catedra de Fisiopatologia, Instituto de Medicina ExperimentalUniversidad Central de VenezuelaCaracasVenezuela

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