The effect of presynaptic catecholamine depletion on 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate: A double blind study of α-methyl-para-tyrosine

L. E. Krahn, S. C. Lin, G. G. Klee, P. Y. Lu, S. J. Ory, R. C. Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Because it is a competitive inhibitor of tyrosine hydroxylase, α-methyl-para-tyrosine (AMPT) is used to study psychiatric disorders. Melatonin serves as a biological marker of catecholamine function since its secretion is regulated by noradrenegic neurons via β-adrenergic receptors in the pineal gland. Ten healthy volunteers were administered AMPT in a double-blind placebo controlled study. When subjects received AMPT, nocturnal 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-SM) decreased significantly as compared with promethazine (night 1 P = 0.002; and night 2 P = 0.001). Urinary MHPG also decreased on both study days (DF1,9 F = 9.82, GG = 0.0121). Nocturnal 6-SM excretion and melatonin secretion correlated highly (r = 0.91, P = 0.0007). Behavioral ratings did not reveal a difference in symptomatology and did not correlate with changes in 6-SM or MHPG. This study demonstrates in healthy controls that 6-SM reliably reflects presynaptic catecholamine depletion induced by AMPT without the emergence of behavioral symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume9
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • AMPT
  • Catecholamine depletion
  • Depression
  • MHPG
  • Melatonin
  • Neurotransmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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