Influence of the CNS Environment on Chromaffin Cell Survival and Catecholamine Secretion Patterns

Jacqueline Sagen, John D. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chromaffin cells implanted into the CNS have been used as a potential source of sustained catecholamine delivery, although their survival and continued catecholamine secretion are controversial. In addition, chromaffin cells exhibit a high degree of neurochemical plasticity in response to environmental factors. The present aims were to determine whether the CNS provides a supportive environment for sustained catecholamine production in transplanted chromaffin cells and to assess whether this novel environment alters patterns of catecholamine secretion. Catecholamine release from bovine chromaffin cells implanted into the rat midbrain was determined in brain slices. In addition, alterations in catecholamine secretion patterns, particularly adrenaline/noradrenaline ratios, were compared in vitro versus in transplants. Results indicated that brain slices containing chromaffin cell implants released high basal and nicotine-stimulated levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. It is surprising that although adrenaline/noradrenaline ratios steadily declined in culture, this did not occur when cells were transplanted to the CNS in the early postharvesting phases. However, if cells were transplanted following longer periods in culture, adrenaline/noradrenaline ratios remained low. Together, these results suggest that the CNS can provide a supportive environment for chromaffin cell survival and that the pattern of catecholamine secretion can be optimized by prior in vitro manipulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1162
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenal medulla
  • Adrenaline
  • Neural transplants
  • Noradrenaline
  • Xenografts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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