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Julie Rumble

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Krista Stenger


Recently, several laboratories have documented the presence of catecholamines in immune cells. Historically, these chemicals have been known to be important to endocrine function. They were thought to be stored only in neurons or endocrine tissues; Initially, investigators who found catecholamines in immune cells attributed their presence to uptake from the environment upon their release from the central nervous system, where they are known to be synthesized. Our laboratory, however, (in collaboration with J. K. Stewart of Virginia Commonwealth University) has detected the catecholamines dopamine and norepinephrine in the RAW264.7 macrophage cell line. Using RT-PCR, we detected the presence of tyrosine hydroxylase, a key enzyme involved in the synthesis of catecholamines, in this cell line inducted with 50ng/ml LPS, but not when induced with ten to twenty times this LPS concentration. This supports the hypothesis that macrophages produce catecholamines under normal activating conditions.