Norepinephrine and Its Metabolites in Cerebrospinal Fluid, Plasma, and Urine: Relationship to Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Depression

Alec Roy, David Pickar, Judith Jong, Farouk Karoum, Markku Linnoila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

• Among 140 depressed and control subjects, there were significant positive correlations between indexes of noradrenergic activity in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), plasma, and urine. Among the depressed patients, CSF levels of the norepinephrine (NE) metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) and urinary outputs of NE and its metabolites normetanephrine, MHPG, and vanillylmandelic acid correlated significantly with plasma cortisol levels in relation to dexamethasone administration. Also, CSF levels of MHPG were significantly higher among patients who were cortisol nonsuppressors than among either patients who were cortisol suppressors or controls. Urinary outputs of NE and normetanephrine were significantly higher among patients who were cortisol nonsuppressors than among controls. Patients who were cortisol suppressors had indexes of NE metabolism similar to those of controls. These results in the depressed patients extend recent observations suggesting that dysregulation of the noradrenergic system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis occur together in a subgroup of depressed patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-857
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Volume45
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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