Estimation of intrasynaptic norepinephrine concentrations in humans

D. S. Goldstein, R. Zimlichman, R. Stull, H. R. Keiser, I. J. Kopin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Levels of synaptic cleft norepinephrine associated with pressor responses were estimated in humans by measuring blood pressure and arterial plasma norepinephrine during norepinephrine infusion and during yohimbine-induced release of endogenous norepinephrine. Linear pressor response-log norepinephrine concentration relationships were observed during the infusions. At a pressor response of 20 mm Hg, arterial norepinephrine averaged 3647 pg/ml. The pressor-log norepinephrine relationship was shifted more than fivefold to the left during combined ganglionic, α2-adrenergic receptor, and Uptake1 (neuronal norepinephrine uptake) blockade: arterial norepinephrine averaged 684 pg/ml at a 20 mm Hg pressor response. During yohimbine-induced release of endogenous norepinephrine in desipramine-pretreated subjects, arterial norepinephrine averaged 467 pg/ml at a 20 mm Hg pressor response. Since the norepinephrine concentration in the synaptic clefts must have been between the values for plasma norepinephrine during its infusion and during its endogenous release, we estimated that in healthy people, a 20 mm Hg sympathetically mediated pressor response is associated with about a 560 pg/ml (3.3 nM) concentration of norepinephrine in the average neuroeffector junction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-475
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


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