Norepinephrine acts as D1-dopaminergic agonist in the embryonic avian retina: Late expression of β1-adrenergic receptor shifts norepinephrine specificity in the adult tissue

Regina Celia Cussa Kubrusly, Ana Lúcia Marques Ventura, Ricardo Augusto de Melo Reis, Gracinda Conceição Fernandes Serra, Edna Nanami Yamasaki, Patrícia Franca Gardino, Maria Christina Fialho de Mello, Fernando Garcia de Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Dopamine is the main catecholamine found in the chick retina whereas norepinephrine is only found in trace amounts. We compared the effectiveness of dopamine and norepinephrine in promoting cyclic AMP accumulation in retinas at embryonic day 13 (E13) and from post-hatched chicken (P15). Dopamine (EC50 = 10 μM) and norepinephrine (EC50 = 30 μM), but not the β1-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol, stimulated over seven-fold the production of cyclic AMP in E13 retina. The cyclic AMP accumulation induced by both catecholamines in embryonic tissue was entirely blocked by 2 μM SCH23390, a D1 receptor antagonist, but not by alprenolol (β-adrenoceptor antagonist). In P15 retinas, 100 μM isoproterenol stimulated five-fold the accumulation of cAMP. This effect was blocked by propanolol (10 μM), but not by 2 μM SCH23390. Embryonic and adult retina display β1 adrenergic receptor mRNA as detected by RT-PCR, but the β1 adrenergic receptor protein was detected only in post-hatched tissue. We conclude that norepinephrine cross-reacts with D1 dopaminergic receptor with affinity similar to that of dopamine in the embryonic retina. In the mature retina, however, D1 receptors become restricted to activation by dopamine. Moreover, as opposed to the embryonic tissue, norepinephrine seems to stimulate cAMP accumulation via β1-like adrenergic receptors in the mature tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • β adrenergic receptor
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Retina

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Norepinephrine acts as D<sub>1</sub>-dopaminergic agonist in the embryonic avian retina: Late expression of β<sub>1</sub>-adrenergic receptor shifts norepinephrine specificity in the adult tissue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this