Catecholamines, a group of compounds with active roles in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are chemical compounds derived from the amino acid tyrosine and act as hormones or neurotransmitters. They are examples of phenethylamines, the class of neurotransmitters that includes epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. They are secreted by the adrenal glands. They generally consist of a benzene ring with two adjacent hydroxyl groups and a side chain of ethylamine. They have an effect on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, metabolic rate, smooth muscle, and temperature. These effects include blood vessel constriction and increase in blood pressure, and increased heart rate by sending signals to the sinus node to increase the heart rate. One such catecholamine is adrenaline (epinephrine) that is released in substantial quantities when the body is under stress.
3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-phenylalanine)is the primary component of the artificial sweetener aspartame. It is most frequently measured in food products using HPLC techniques.
- 3-hydroxytyramine (Dopamine)
3-hydroxytyramine (Dopamine) is a neurotransmitter in the brain also used to treat Parkinson's disease. It is most often measured using HPLC techniques.
- adrenaline (epinephrine)
Adrenaline (epinephrine) is a catecholamine hormone produced by the body and used therapeutically to reduce swelling due to allergies. I tis msot often measured using HPLC.