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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Krista Fischer-Stenger


Historically, catecholamines were thought to be stored only in neurons or the adrenal gland. However, recently, several laboratories have detected catecholamines in cells of the immune system. It has been demonstrated that the RAW264.7 murine macrophage cell line synthesizes catecholamines and others have shown that mouse peritoneal macrophages take up catecholamines from the environment. The vesicular monoamine transporter(s), VAMT-1 and VMAT-2, are needed for intracellular storage of catecholamines, but they have never been identified in macrophages. The detection of these transporters in macrophages would provide evidence that these cells are capable of collecting and storing catecholamines. In the present study, we used RT-PCR and westernblotting to detect VMAT-1 and -2 in primary murine macrophages. We have shown that resident macrophages express VMAT-1 mRNA but do not yield any protein. Additionally, VMAT-2 was expressed in resident and recruited macrophages activated with LPS but yielded protein only in the recruited model. This is the first evidence that macrophages are capable of synthesizing vesicular monoamine transporters upon activation with LPS.