Physiol. Res. 53: 409-413, 2004

Increased Subcutaneous Abdominal Tissue Norepinephrine Levels in Patients With Anorexia Nervosa: an In Vivo Microdialysis Study


Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, 1Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic and 2Pediatric and Reproductive Endocrinology Branch, NICHD, NIH, Bethesda, USA

Received July 20, 2003
Accepted September 22, 2003

The present study was designed to measure interstitial levels of norepinephrine-regulating lipolysis (NE) in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue of anorexia nervosa (AN) patients and control subjects under basal conditions and after the local administration of an inhibitor of NE re-uptake, maprotiline. In vivo microdialysis technique was used to assess subcutaneous adipose NE levels in five women with AN (body mass index 14.62±0.47 kg/m2) and six age-matched controls (22.1±0.52 kg/m2). NE was assayed using high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection after batch alumina extraction. Measured basal adipose tissue NE levels reflecting its interstitial levels were significantly increased in AN patients compared to the controls (106.0±20.9 vs. 40.0±5.0 pg/ml). The local maprotiline administration resulted in a significant increase in adipose tissue NE levels (AN patients: 440.0±28.6 vs. 202.0±33.0 pg/ml in the controls) in both groups. Markedly increased subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue NE levels in AN patients compared to control subjects reflect increased sympathetic nervous system activity but not altered membrane noradrenergic transporter system in anorexia nervosa patients.

Key words
Anorexia nervosa • Catecholamines • Adipose tissue • Microdialysis • Maprotiline

© 2004 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences