Effects of chronic nicotine administration on the denervated rat adrenal medulla.
1 The effects of chronic nicotine administration (1 or 10 mg/kg, s.c., twice daily) were studied in intact and denervated rat adrenal glands to determine the relative roles of central input and direct actions on catecholamines. 2 Catecholamine depletion was obtained in the intact glands from 1-7 days of treatment with 10 mg/kg, with recovery by 14 days of treatment; catecholamines were not decreased in denervated adrenal glands. 3 Catecholamine depletion was accompanied by a decline in functional storage vesicles (determined by [3H]-adrenaline uptake per gland) in the intact side, while no change was seen in the denervated side; the proportion of newly synthesized vesicles increased markedly during 1-7 days of treatment with 10 mg/kg in the intact side, while a much smaller increase of shorter duration was seen in the denervated adrenal gland. 4 Chronic nicotine administration at either dose level induced tyrosine hydroxylase in both intact and denervated glands, but the increase occurred more slowly in the denervated glands. 5 Dopamine beta-hydroxylase levels increased similarly in both sides during treatment with nicotine (10 mg/kg). 6 These studies suggest that although long-term adrenal denervation eliminates the catecholamine depletion caused by chronic administration of nicotine, the mechanisms for induction of catecholamine synthesizing enzymes are still capable of responding to the drug.
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