Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Concentration of Adrenaline in Human Plasma and its Relation to Mental Activity

  • H. Weil-Malherbe (a1)


It is generally accepted that situations of danger, stress or emergency lead to an increased activity of the sympathetic system and to the discharge of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla. Until recently our knowledge was based, essentially, upon two lines of evidence; on the observation of effector organs and mechanisms, such as heart rate, blood pressure, width of skin capillaries, etc., and on the measurement of the adrenaline concentration in the suprarenals or the suprarenal veins, which contain comparatively large quantities. Lately, with the advent of more refined techniques, further methods have become available, which made it possible to estimate adrenaline in tissues other than the suprarenals, in urine and in peripheral blood. The last two methods are obviously of special importance for clinical studies.

In this paper work done in the writer's laboratory will be briefly reviewed. The first part deals with the development of a method for the estimation of adrenaline and noradrenaline in plasma and with experiments that were intended to establish the validity of the method. The concentration of adrenaline and noradrenaline, and the form of their occurrence, in plasma and CSF, will be discussed. In the second part results will be described, which suggest that there is a correlation of the blood-adrenaline level with mental activity.



Hide All
Cannon, W. B., Physiol. Reviews, 1929, 9, 399.
Code, C. F., Physiol. Reviews, 1952, 32, 47.
D'Silva, J. L., Biochem. J., 1937, 31, 2171.
Dunér, H., Acta physiol. scand., 1953, 28, suppl. 102.
von Euler, U. S., Ergebn. Physiol., 1950, 46, 261.
Folkow, B., and von Euler, U. S., Circulation Research, 1954, 2, 191.
Gaddum, J. H., and Schild, H., J. Physiol., 1934, 80, 9 P.
Hagen, P., J. Physiol., 1954, 123, 53 P.
Hökfelt, B., Acta physiol. scand., 1951, 25, suppl. 92.
Holzbauer, M., and Vogt, M., Brit. J. Pharmacol., 1954, 9, 249.
Houssay, A., and Rapela, C. F., Arch. exp. Path. Pharmakol., 1953, 219, 156.
Lehmann, G., and Michaelis, H. F., Arbeitsphysiologie, 1942, 12, 264.
Liddell, D. W., and Weil-Malherbe, H., J. Neurol., Neurosurg. and Psychiat., 1953, 16, 7.
Lund, A., Acta pharmacol. tox., Kbh., 1949, 5, 231.
Idem , ibid, 1950, 6, 137.
Montagu, J. D., J. ment. Sci., 1955, 101, 110.
Pekkarinen, A., Acta physiol. scand., 1948, 16, suppl. 54.
Rand, M., and Reid, G., Nature, 1951, 168, 385.
Renton, G. H., and Weil-Malherbe, H., 1955. To be published.
Sutherland, E. W., Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 1951, 54, 693.
Idem and Cori, C. F., J. biol. Chem., 1951, 188, 531.
Wada, M., and Kanowoka, K., Tohoku J. exp. Med., 1935, 27, 1.
Weil-Malherbe, H., J. ment. Sci., 1949, 95, 930.
Idem , Proc. First Intern. Symposium Neurochem., 1954a. In the press.
Idem , 1954b. Unpublished observations.
Idem , J. ment. Sci., 1955, 101, 156.
Idem , and Bone, A. D., Biochem. J., 1952a, 51, 311.
Idem , J. ment. Sci., 1952b, 98, 565.
Idem , Lancet, 1953, 264, 974.
Idem , Biochem. J., 1954a, 58, 132.
Idem , Nature, 1954b, 174, 557.
Idem , J. Endocrinol., 1954c, 11, 285.
Idem , ibid, 1954d, 11, 298.
Weil-Malherbe, H., and Liddell, D. W., J. Neurol., Neurosurg. and Psychiat., 1954, 17, 247.

The Concentration of Adrenaline in Human Plasma and its Relation to Mental Activity

  • H. Weil-Malherbe (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

The Concentration of Adrenaline in Human Plasma and its Relation to Mental Activity

  • H. Weil-Malherbe (a1)
Submit a response


No eLetters have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *