Function, effect and synthesis
adrenaline, more rarely called epinephrine, is used by the adrenal cortex as a stress hormone, especially in mental as well as physical stress situations. The evolutionary purpose of the hormone lies in the physical adaptation to an extraordinary situation, which requires either flight or fight (Fight or Flight). Even though most people are no longer in real fight-or-flight situations at the moment, the system's own warning system still works exactly as it did 30,000 years ago:
When it is discharged, adrenaline in the body leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, enlargement of the bronchi, tensing of the muscles, inhibition of stomach and bowel movements, and decreased sensitivity to pain. In addition, the sudden release of adrenalin stimulates both glycolysis (production of glucose) and lipolysis (conversion of body fat into energy) in the short term to provide energy to the body.
In the human body, the adrenaline synthesis proceeds via several intermediates: (1) By hydroxyethylation, the amino acid tyrosine (C9H11NO3) by means of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase to levodopa (C9H11NO4) converted. (2) The nonproteinogenic levodopa is converted by the enzyme DOPA decarboxylase first to dopamine (C8H11NO2) decarboxylates, (3) before the dopamine hydroxylase releases the dopamine to norepinephrine (C8H11NO3) is hydroxylated. (4) In the last step, methyltransferase methylates norepinephrine to epinephrine (C9H13NO3).
The adrenaline derived from the group of catecholamines is not only detectable in the adrenal gland and blood. As a neurotransmitter in so-called adrenergic nerve cells, adrenalin regulates u.a. the function of blood, lymph and fat vessels, urogenital tract and heart.