Adrenaline (C9H13NO3) is a catecholamine and belongs to the family of biogenic amines. It forms colourless to white crystalls (mp: 211-212 °C). Adrenaline is air and light sensitive and forms dark products during decomposition.
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R = H Noradrenaline
R = CH3 Adrenaline
L-adrenaline has some important biological functions. On the one hand, it belongs, like the chemically related noradrenaline, to the family of adrenal medulla hormones. The hormone has a big influence on the storage and mobilisation of glycogene and fatty acids and the corresponding metabolic pathways (see biological function).
On the other hand, adrenaline is a neurotransmitter of the adrenergic nervous system. It has an effect on alpha- and beta-rezeptors (see biological function).
L-adrenaline was isolated from adrenal medulla (name (lat.): adrenes) by two independent groups (Takamine, Aldrich and von Fürth) in 1900 and 1901. It was the first hormone which could be crystallized. The structure determination by Jowett and the first total chemical synthesis by Stolz were achieved in 1904. In 1950, Earl Sutherland was able to show that adrenaline and glucagone induce the metabolism of glycogene. This was the beginning of the determination of the molecular mechanism of hormonal effects.