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Dopamine metabolites

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Dopamine metabolites are the products following the breakdown of Dopamine



Dopamine is inactivated by reuptake via the dopamine transporter, then enzymatic breakdown by catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase (MAO). Dopamine that is not broken down by enzymes is repackaged into vesicles for reuse.

Dopamine may also simply diffuse away from the synapse, and help to regulate blood pressure.

DOPACEdit

DOPAC (dihydroxyphenylacetic acid) is a metabolite of dopamine. The dopaminergic pathway consists of the following:


             ----> via MAO -> '''DOPAC''' -> via COMT 
           /                                    \
'''Dopamine (DA)''' . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ---> '''homovanillic acid (HVA)'''
           \                                    /    
             ----> via COMT -> '''3-MT''' -> via MAO 

One of the three direct products from the alteration of dopamine (DOPAC, 3-MT (3-methoxytyramine) and noradrenaline) DOPAC is an important metabolite when studying the behaviour of the dopaminergic system for multiple reasons; 3-MT is generally more difficult to assay alongside dopamine and by assessing all three metabolites (DOPAC, HVA and 3-MT) abnormalities in either COMT (catechol-O-methyl transferase) or MAO (monoamine oxidase) can be indirectly identified. This has large ramifications as COMT abnormalities are suspected in various neuropsychiatric diseases including schizophrenia.

Dopamine degradation

See alsoEdit

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