Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase activity along the rat nephron

M. Hayashi, Y. Yamaji, W. Kitajima, T. Saruta

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147 Citations (Scopus)


Extraneural dopamine is thought to be synthesized by an aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (L-AADC) activity in tubular cells. However, the previous histochemical studies of this enzyme's localization in the nephron were not consistent. To determine the localization of L-AADC and whether changes in Na intake regulate this enzyme, L-AADC was measured in microdissected nephron segments from rat kidneys. Dopamine formed by isolated tubules incubated with exogenous L-dopa was quantitated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and with the more sensitive radioenzyme assay (REA). L-AADC activity was present only in proximal convoluted (PCT, 208 ± 19 ng·cm-1·h-1) and proximal straight tubules (PST, 81 ± 9 ng·cm-1·h-1), whereas no significant activity was detected in other nephron segments by either HPLC or REA. Maximal velocity (V(max)) of L-AADC in a low-salt diet group (246 ± 4 ng·cm-1·h-1) showed a small but a significant decrease (P < 0.05) compared with control and high-salt diet groups (311 ± 6 and 293 ± 4 ng·cm-1·h-1, respectively), whereas the apparent Michaelis constant (K(m)) was similar in these groups. These results show that L-AADC is present only in the PCT and PST of the rat nephron, and suggest that the changes in L-AADC activity may contribute to the regulation of extra-neural dopamine production in the kidney during low-salt intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F28-F33
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number1 27-1
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Decarboxylase
  • Denervation
  • Dopamine
  • Renal tubules
  • Sodium intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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