Homovanillic acid transport by the spinal cord

John A. Kessler*, Joseph D. Fenstermacher, Clifford S. Patlak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Spinal subarachnoid perfusions of rhesus monkeys were performed to study spinal transport of homovanillic acid in control and probenecid-treated animals. Homovanillic acid enters capillaries within spinal tissue throughout the spinal cord. The mean capillary exchange half-time for homovanillic acid was 19.2 ± 2.8 minutes; probenecid did not affect this value significantly. Despite its polar nature, homovanillic acid crosses cell boundaries easily and equilibrates in a distribution volume (55 percent) approaching the total water space. The spinal cord clears homovanillic acid from 21 ± 4 µ1 per minute of cerebrospinal fluid. The rate of clearance after probenecid administration was not significantly different. The apparent diffusion coefficient in tissue of homovanillic acid approximated the diffusion coefficient in water (8.0 × 10-6 cm2per second). The data show that homovanillic acid is transported by capillaries throughout spinal tissue by a mechanism largely insensitive to inhibition by probenecid. Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of homovanillic acid even after probenecid administration therefore reflect only part of the total dopamine metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-440
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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