3D Structure of Epinephrine
(also adrenaline, epi in medical
jargon) is a hormone and acts as a neurotransmitter. Both names
mean the same: the Latin roots ad-+renes and the
Greek roots epi-+nephros both literally mean "on/to
the kidney" (referring to the adrenal gland, which secretes epinephrine).
plays a central role in the stress reaction--the physiological response
to conditions that threaten the physical integrity of the body.
It is secreted by the adrenal medulla. When released into the bloodstream,
epinephrine acts to increase heart rate and blood pressure, dilate
the pupils, elevate the blood sugar level (by increased hydrolysis
of glycogen to glucose), and redistribute blood flow away from the
skin and inner organs.
used as a drug in order to stimulate cardiac action in cardiac arrest,
as a vasoconstrictor in anaphylactic shock and sepsis, and as a bronchodilator
in acute bronchial asthma. Allergy patients undergoing immunotherapy
can get an epinephrine rinse before their allergan extract is administered.
Adverse reactions include palpitations, tachycardia, anxiety, headache,
tremor, hypertension, and acute pulmonary oedema.
A pheochromocytoma is
a tumor of the adrenal gland (or, rarely, the ganglia of the sympathetic
nervous system) which secretes excessive amounts of catecholamines,
is a catecholamine hormone, a sympathomimetic monoamine derived
from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. The chemical formula
of epinephrine is C9H13NO3. Its
structure is shown right.
Epinephrine was first
isolated and identified in 1897 by John Jacob Abel. Jokichi Takamine
discovered the same hormone in 1901, without knowing about the previous
discovery, and called it adrenaline. It was first artificially synthesized
in 1904 by Friedrich Stolz.