Physiol. Res. 55: 353-364, 2006


Salsolinol, a Derivate of Dopamine, is a Possible Modulator of Catecholaminergic Transmission: a Review of Recent Developments


Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Slovak Academy of Sciences and Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

Received May 31, 2005
Accepted August 17, 2005
On-line available October 17, 2005

Catecholamine (dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine) synthesizing neurons are widely distributed in the brain, sympathetic ganglia and throughout peripheral organs. Results of several recent experiments clearly suggest that many of these neurons can also contain 1-methyl-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (salsolinol), a derivate of dopamine. However, direct proof of salsolinol synthesis in those neurons is still missing. The data obtained with administration of exogenous salsolinol strongly indicate that it may play an important role in catecholaminergic regulatory processes, such as the regulation of prolactin release and/or neuronal transmission in sympathetic ganglia. Several recent data have also indicated a relationship between salsolinol or its metabolites and the etiology of Parkinson's disease or neuropathology of chronic alcoholism. These seemingly different roles of salsolinol will be discussed separately, but some common features will also be highlighted. Based on all of the discussed data the existence of a “salsolinolergic” system using salsolinol as a neuromodulator, which may be present in catecholamine synthesizing neurons, is postulated.

Key words
Salsolinol • Dopamine • Prolactoliberin • Parkinson’s disease • 1MeDIQ

© 2006 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences