Physiol. Res. 53: 661-667, 2004

Changes of Dopamine-Beta-Hydroxylase Activity During Ontogenesis in Healthy Subjects and in an Experimental Model (Rats)


1Department of Psychiatry‚ First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University Prague and General Teaching Hospital and 2Department of Physiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Received October 15, 2003
Accepted January 21, 2004

In children and adolescents (250 healthy subjects) serum dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) activity (23.95.2 to 57.117.5 μmol/min/ml) increases with the age between 3-10 years, later it decreases approximately by the age of 10-14 years. At the age of 21 to 60 years DBH level is stable. Our study described decreasing DBH activity in adolescents at the age of 10-14 years in the studied sample of healthy persons. Experimental animals (200 Wistar rats, 5-120 days old) show the same trend of enzymatic activity, similarly as in humans. DBH activity in rats is between 0.850.1 to 2.80.05 μmol/min/ml. This activity is highest in 5-day-old rats; it decreases till the age of 14 days and increases mainly in 14- to 35-day-old animals. Decrease of DBH activity in rats between 35 to 40 days is significant and corresponds to the reduction of DBH activity in adolescent humans (10-14 years). Adult rats (aged 90-120 days) show a stable DBH activity. DBH activity intermediately decreases in 10- to 14-year-old children. This decrease corresponds to the intermediate developmental changes of electrophysiological parameters (decreasing EEG activity in healthy adolescents occurs in 10-14 years old children). Puberty is coupled with intermediate decreasing of DBH activity in man and also in experimental animals in the period of prominent psychological and physiological changes.

Key words
Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) • Rats • Human • Serum • Developmental changes • Noradrenergic system

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