In vivo measurement of neuronal uptake of norepinephrine in the human heart.
Neuronal uptake (Uptake-1) of the sympathetic neurotransmitter norepinephrine from the circulation in the human heart was assessed in vivo with three techniques. 1) Cardiac removal of intravenously infused tracer-labeled norepinephrine was measured before and after Uptake-1 blockade with desipramine; 2) the difference between the fractional extraction of radioactive norepinephrine and of radioactive isoproterenol, which is not a substrate for neuronal uptake, was used to estimate the removal of norepinephrine by Uptake-1 in the heart compared with other vascular beds (arm, leg, brain, and lungs); and 3) regional arteriovenous differences in radioactive and endogenous dihydroxyphenylglycol (DHPG), an exclusively intraneuronal metabolite of norepinephrine, were compared in these beds. In untreated patients, cardiac removal of radioactive norepinephrine averaged 79%, whereas in desipramine-treated patients, cardiac removal of radioactive norepinephrine averaged 19%, a value similar to that of isoproterenol in untreated patients (14%), confirming that in the heart the non-neuronal removals of isoproterenol and norepinephrine were similar. In the heart, 69% of delivered norepinephrine was estimated to be removed by Uptake-1, a much higher percentage than that in the arm (14%), leg (7%), brain (10%), and lungs (4%). The cardiac arteriovenous increment in endogenous DHPG (137%) far exceeded that of the other beds (49%, 26%, 39%, and -19%, respectively), and radioactive DHPG in the great cardiac vein exceeded arterial levels by 113%, whereas in the other beds, arterial radioactive DHPG exceeded venous levels. The results indicate that the human heart is exceptionally dependent on neuronal uptake for in vivo removal of circulating norepinephrine.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association