Adrenal medullary tissue was collected from parkinsonian patients at autopsy and at the time of autologous transplantation of the adrenal medulla to the caudate nucleus, and from nonparkinsonian patients at autopsy and during nephrectomy. Levels of the following neuropeptides were measured by radioimmunoassay in samples of the medullary tissue: neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), [Met]enkephalin ([Met]ENK), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), peptide YY, and bombesin-like immunoreactivity. Regression analysis was used to establish a relationship between patient age, time to organ harvest, and peptide levels in nonparkinsonian tissue. Levels of [Met]ENK, VIP, NPY, and SP were significantly lower in parkinsonian adrenal medullae than that predicted from the control group. These results suggest that the adrenal medulla of a parkinsonian patient is severely compromised, either by the disease process itself or by the antiparkinsonian medications used to treat the symptoms of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas