Plasma Dopamine-Beta-Hydroxylase as an Index of Peripheral Noradrenergic Activity
Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences BETHESDA United States
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Dopamine-Beta-Hydroxylase DBH E.C.126.96.36.199 is the biosynthetic enzyme for norepinephrine and is released with the neurotransmitter during nerve depolarization. The enzyme can be measured in plasma, and such measurements may give a chemical estimation for peripheral noradrenergic neurotransmission. The literature was reviewed to assess the validity of using plasma DBH as an index of peripheral noradrenergic activity. Conclusions indicate that although serum DBH reflects sympathetic activity in some situations, many factors limit its use to estimate acute sympatho-adrenalmedullary function. Despite these limitations itsmeasurement in patients with essential hypertension, psychiatric disease or under psychological stress has provided interesting results and prompted new avenues of research. Future uses of DBH are discussed and the use of cerebrospinal fluid DBH as an index of central nonadrenergic activity is addressed.