The content and turnover of dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and norepinephrine have been investigated in the superior cervical, coeliac and mesenteric ganglia of rats exposed to moderate normobaric hypoxia (10% O2in N2) lasting for 2-28 days. The turnover was estimated by the decrease in amine contents after inhibition of catecholamine biosynthesis with α-methyl-p-tyrosine. In all 3 sympathetic ganglia, long-term hypoxia elicited a sustained increase in the content and turnover of dopamine. In contrast, the content and turnover of norepinephrine remained unchanged, except for a moderate increase in the coeliac ganglion after 14 and 28 days of hypoxia. These results suggest that the dopamine and norepinephrine pools in ganglia have a different functional significance and that rat sympathetic ganglia contain a pool of dopamine specifically sensitive to long-term hypoxia. © 1988.
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