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The balance between catecholamine (CA) release and reuptake is closely regulated and determines the effective level of transmitter at the synaptic cleft. Drugs that block CA uptake have potential utility as antidepressant medications. One such drug is racemic (+/-)-(1' R*,3R*)-3-phenyl-1-[1',2',3',4'-tetrahydro-5',6'- methylenedioxy-1'-naphthalenyl-methyl]-pyrrolidine methanesulfonate (A-7500), a novel polycyclic compound developed at Abbott Laboratories. This compound is known to bind to CA transporters in the central nervous system, however, its effects on an intact neurosecretory system have not been studied. In this regard, norepinephrine (NE) release from bovine adrenal chromaffin cells (BACC) is a classic model system for CA release and is an excellent system in which to examine the effects of drugs which modulate neurotransmitter release. We compared the effects of A-75200 and its two constituent enantiomers, A-74111 and A-74112, to the effects of three well-characterized uptake inhibitors, desipramine (DMI), nomifensine and cocaine. We found that the Abbott compounds inhibit [3H]norepinephrine ([3H]NE) uptake with an EC50 comparable to cocaine. In addition, unlike nomifensine and cocaine, these compounds inhibited nicotine- and K(+)-stimulated NE release, whereas histamine-stimulated release was preserved. Thus, the Abbott compounds block the effects on secretion of two agonists (nicotine and K+) which depend on a depolarization-dependent influx of extracellular calcium. We conclude that in addition to blocking NE uptake by inhibiting the NE transporter, the Abbott compounds may modulate peripheral NE release by inhibiting calcium flux through voltage-gated channels. This study demonstrates the utility of bovine adrenal chromaffin cells for preclinical trials of drugs that affect catecholaminergic neurotransmission.


Journal article


J Pharmacol Exp Ther

Publication Date





1206 - 1210


Adrenal Medulla, Animals, Calcium, Cattle, Cells, Cultured, Chromaffin Granules, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors, Nicotine, Norepinephrine, Potassium, Pyrrolidines, Tetrahydronaphthalenes