Measurements of catecholamine-mediated apoptosis of immunocompetent cells by capillary electrophoresis

Jonas Bergquist, Elisabet Josefsson, Andrej Tarkovski, Rolf Ekman, Andrew Ewing

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103 Citations (SciVal)


Single cell analysis with capillary electrophoresis, a technique capable of detecting zeptomole quantities (10-21 mole) of neurochemical species, has been used to demonstrate that lymphocytes are capable of active synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine. Exposure of lymphocytes to catecholamines at concentrations as low as 10 nM leads to decreased proliferation and differentiation, e.g. interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-4 (IL-4) and immunoglobulin (Ig). In addition, both inhibition of dopamine uptake with nomifensine and inhibition of packing of catecholamines into vesicles with tetrabenazine, results in significantly lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). The catecholamine-dependent inhibition of T- and B-lymphocyte activity is mediated via an induction of a Bcl-2/Bax and Fas/ Fast involved apoptosis. These findings indicate a novel mechanism for regulation of lymphocyte activity in the central nervous system, whereby elevated regional levels of catecholamines might lead to the immunoprivilege of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1760-1766
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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