Errors introduced by a tritium label in position 8 of catecholamines

M. Grohmann, M. Henseling, L. Cassis, U. Trendelenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The neuronal and extraneuronal disposition of3H-7,8-and3H-7-labelled (-)-noradrenaline and dopamine was compared in in vitro studies. 1. In agreement with earlier studies, the present results show that the presence of a tritium label in position 8 (i.e., on the alpha-carbon) has two consequences: a) the rate of deamination declines and b) part of the deamination results in the formation of an unlabelled aldehyde plus tritium water; tritium water is recovered from the OMDA-fraction of the column chromatographic procedure of Graefe et al. (1973). 2. Whenever the deamination of a3H-catecholamine is reduced (by tritium in position 8), the intraneuronal3H-catecholamine concentration is increased. This increase, in turn, partly masks the decline in neuronal deamination (rat vas deferens). Irrespective of whether one dertermines the spontaneous efflux, the release of3H-noradrenaline by nerve stimulation or the release of3H-(-)-noradrenaline by the reserpine-like compound Ro 4-1284, the presence of tritium in position 8 distorts the results (experiments with rat vasa deferentia and/or rabbit aorta). 3. In the extraneuronal system of the rat heart, two intracellular enzymes inactivate3H-(-)-noradrenaline and3H-dopamine: catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase (MAO). Any hindrance of deamination (by tritium in position 8, COMT intact) leads to a shift of the metabolism of the3H-catecholamines from the exclusively deaminated to the exclusively O-methylated metabolites. 4. No differences between3H-7,8-and3H-7-labelled catecholamines were found after inhibition of MAO and COMT (extraneuronal accumulation and rate constant for efflux from the extraneuronal compartment III of the rat heart). 5. These results indicate that the presence of tritium in position 8 of catecholamines introduces errors, if monoamine oxidase is active. This is important for the interpretation of earlier results, since virtually all samples of "3H-(-)-noradrenaline" and "3H-dopamine nominally labelled in position 7" were contaminated with varying amounts of tritium in position 8. 6. In some experiments, also3H-7-(-)-adrenaline was used. For adrenergic nerve endings, the rate of metabolism (deamination) declined in the order:3H-7-dopamine > 3H-7-(-)-noradrenaline > 3H-7-(-)-adrenaline. For the extraneuronal disposition the ranking order was:3H-7-(-)-adrenaline > 3H-7-(-)-noradrenaline=3H-7-dopamine. However, in the extraneuronal disposition of3H-(-)-adrenaline, O-methylation predominated over deamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalNaunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1986


  • Extraneuronal deamination
  • H-catecholamides
  • Isotope effects
  • Neuronal deamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Errors introduced by a tritium label in position 8 of catecholamines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this