* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received June 21, 2007; Revision received July 20, 2007
We measured the activity of mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) within cells, in media with near-physiological composition, in lymphocytes immobilized in a blood smear on glass. SDH activity was studied in newborn rats characterized by natural hyperadrenergic status and also in adult animals injected with epinephrine. In most newborns very high activities were recorded, which exceeded the activities in adults at rest 7-8-fold or 3-fold according to the conventional calculation, or more than 30- and 6-fold according to our more precise calculation. The findings support our concept about a selective interaction between adrenergic stimulation and oxidation of succinic acid. According to this concept, epinephrine and norepinephrine specifically activate oxidation of succinic acid, whereas blood micromolar concentrations of the latter stimulate the release of catecholamines (the receptor-mediated signaling effect). This interaction is half of a substrate-hormonal regulatory system responsible for connection of vegetative nervous system with oxidation in mitochondria of the innervated organs. The increase in succinate oxidation by catecholamines includes activation of the faster pathways of succinate generation than the complete Krebs cycle, in particular, the glyoxylate cycle that is shown in the newborn rats in the present study.
KEY WORDS: newborns, epinephrine, succinate dehydrogenase, succinic acid, glyoxylate cycle