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Catecholamines

Catecholamines are the term that includes adrenaline, dopamine and also noradrenaline. This is the neurotransmitters that are physiologically important when they are part of the central nervous system and sympathetic nervous system. Catecholamines act both on alpha-adrenergic receptors and beta-adrenergic receptors. This is released during stress. This even makes the heart to beat faster along with more force and with narrow blood vessels that cause blood pressure rise. The effects of catecholamine due to beta1 on heart occurs due to an increase in the concentration of cyclic-AMP in the intracellular. Cyclic-AMP also activates the protein called kinase A. This is a protein that phosphorylates various sites of the calcium channels that includes alpha1 – subunits. This also increases the opening probability of the channels, even increase the current of calcium ion which is inward and thus the cardiac contraction force increases. The calcium ion capture is also increased due to the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Also, increase the total amount of calcium which is stored and is available inside the cell results releasing of an action potential.

Example

Neuroblastoma:

This is a type of tumor which is the second most common that occurs in childhood. This is a tumor that produces catecholamines. Due to the catecholamine vanillylmandelic acid is metabolized and the homovanillic acid can also be measured in urine whenever it is tested for any disease.

Pheochromocytoma:

It is a type of benign tumor that is derived from the adrenal medulla or sympathetic paraganglia. This is the tumor that secretes epinephrine and also secretes norepinephrine. This results in an attack of hypertension, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Even sweating, severe apprehension and pallor also occur.

Chemodectoma:

This is also a type of benign tumor occurs in the chemoreceptor system. This is the most common carotid body tumor and glomus jugulare tumor. This is also known by nonchromaffin paraganglioma.

Familial paraganglioma syndrome:

This is a very unusual and also familial type of disease which involves in the slow-growing of the benign tumors including paragangliomas, glomus tumors or the chemodectomas that occur in the head region and the neck region. The gene of the specific disease is present on the chromosome called 11q23. This is the tumors that lead to disfiguring of the local swellings and injury of the cranial nerve. Even it may include into the skull base which may also cause dysphonia, hearing loss, tinnitus, aspiration, pain and various other types of problems.

Function Of Catecholamines

  1. High-level catecholamine present in the blood is associated with high stress that is induced from various psychological reactions or from environmental stressors including the sound levels that are elevated, sugar levels that are low and intense light.
  2. Extreme high level of catecholamines occurs into the center of the nervous system which is called trauma. This occurs due to the stimulation or due to the damage of the nuclei inside the brainstem.
  3. The catecholamine may also cause certain physiological change which prepares the body to perform any type of physical activity.