Production of catecholamines in the human epidermis

Karin U. Schallreuter*, John M. Wood, Regina Lemke, Caroline LePoole, Pranab Das, Wiete Westerhof, Mark R. Pittelkow, Anthony J. Thody

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Cell-free extracts from human full thickness skin (i.e., epidermis and dermis), suction blister roofs (i.e., epidermis) and from human keratinocytes express biopterin-dependent tyrosine hydroxylase a well as phenylethanolamine-N-methyl transferase, both representing key enzymes for the biosynthesis of epinephrine. These enzyme activities could not be detected in cell extracts from human melanocytes and human fibroblasts. Since keratinocytes in the human epidermis, and in cell cultures, express a high density of beta-2-adrenoceptors, and this signal transduction system regulates intracellular calcium homeostasis, it can be concluded that epinephrine production in the epidermis activates calcium transport via the beta-2-adrenoceptor system. Our results show for the first time that the human epidermis has the capacity to independently produce epinephrine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 30 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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