Physiology of quantal norepinephrine release from somatodendritic sites of neurons in locus coeruleus

Hong Ping Huang, Fei Peng Zhu, Xiao Wei Chen, Zhi Qing David Xu, Claire Xi Zhang, Zhuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Norepinephrine (NE) released from the nerve terminal of locus coeruleus (LC) neurons contributes to about 70% of the total extracellular NE in primates brain. In addition, LC neurons also release NE from somatodendritic sites. Quantal NE release from soma of LC neurons has the characteristics of long latency, nerve activity-dependency, and autoinhibition by α 2-adrenergic autoreceptor. The distinct kinetics of stimulus-secretion coupling in somata is regulated by action potential patterns. The physiological significance of soma and dendritic release is to produce negative-feedback and to down-regulate neuronal hyperactivity, which consequently inhibit NE release from axon terminal of LC projecting to many brain areas. Recent discoveries about the LC somatodendritic release may provide new insights into the pathogenesis of clinic disease involving LC-NE system dysfunction, and may help developing remedy targeted to the LC area.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Issue numberMARCH
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Locus coeruleus
  • Norepinephrine
  • Quantal release
  • Somatodendritic
  • α -adrenoceptor


Dive into the research topics of 'Physiology of quantal norepinephrine release from somatodendritic sites of neurons in locus coeruleus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this