Catecholamines and indoleamines in the central nervous system of a urodele amphibian: A microdissection study with emphasis on the distribution of epinephrine


Individual brain nuclei and regions of the central nervous system of adult male roughskin newts (Taricha granulosa) were microdissected, and the concentrations of norepinephrine, epinephrine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, dopamine, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and serotonin were determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection. The pattern of distribution of these catecholamines and indoleamines revealed many similarities between this urodele and other vertebrates. The highest concentrations of biogenic amines were observed in brainstem, hypothalamic, and basal forebrain structures; the lowest concentrations were observed in the internal granule layer of the olfactory bulb and palliai structures of the telencephalon. High concentrations of catecholamines and indoleamines were found in hypothalamic periventricular regions that are known to include cerebrospinal fluid-contacting, monoarnine-containing neuronal cell bodies. The rostral diencephalon, which included the preoptic recess organ, had high concentrations of the primary catecholamines, norepinephrine and dopamine, and extremely high concentrations of the secondary catecholamine epinephrine. The dorsomedial infundibular hypothalamic region, which included the paraventricular organ, had high concentrations of dopamine and serotonin. The lateral infundibular hypothalamic region, which included the nucleus infundibularis dorsalis, had high concentrations of each of the biogenic amines. The results revealed unique patterns of distribution for each of the catecholamines and indoleamines studied, and provided evidence that regions of the hypothalamus that include cerebrospinal fluid-contacting, monoamine-containing neuronal cell bodies are focal regions for the metabolism of multiple biogenic amines.



Document Type





Amphibian, Catecholamines, Dopamine, Dorsomedial hypothalamus, Epinephrine, Indoleamines, Monoamines, Norepinephrine, Paraventricular organ, Serotonin

Publication Date


Journal Title

Brain, Behavior and Evolution