Julius Axelrod

Picture of Julius Axelrod


In 1970 Julius Axelrod (jointly with Sir Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and storage mechanisms, release and inactivation. "

Axelrod, Julius (Axelrod, Julius) (p. 1912), American biochemist and pharmacologist ,Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1970 (jointly with Sir Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler) .

Born May 30, 1912 in New York. In 1933 he graduated from college in New York, and received a bachelor`s degree in the same year he started working as an assistant in the laboratory of bacteriology department at the medical school at New York University. In 1935, while working as a chemist in an industrial hygiene laboratory, he entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University. . In 1941 graduated with a master`s degree.

Working in the laboratory, he met with Professor Bernard Brodie. This meeting influenced subsequent scientific career of Julius Axelrod : After graduation, he went to work in the third research department at New York University at Goldwater Hospital, which was already working Professor Brody. In 1949, Axelrod and Brodie moved to the National Institute of Cardiology in the Department of Pharmacology. After 4 years, Axelrod has become a leading chemist and headed the Department of Pharmacology at the laboratory of clinical trials in two years at the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1955, with the active support of Paul Smith ,professor of pharmacology at George Washington University, a doctorate.

The main topic of research Axelrod and Brodie were amphetamines, stimulants of the nervous system, similar in effects on the body with the catecholamine group substances, catechol derivatives (catechol - dihydric phenol,part of the molecules of a number of natural compounds) , are actively involved in physiological and biochemical processes in the body. By the early 1950s of catecholamines adrenaline was already open (adrenalin or epinephrine, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands and causes changes in metabolism : increases oxygen consumption, blood glucose concentration ,and increases blood flow in the liver), and in 1946 a Swedish physiologist Ulf von Euler succeeded in isolating norepinephrine (noradrenaline - neurohormone compound from the group of catecholamines, is formed in the adrenal medulla and in the nervous system, increases blood pressure, stimulates carbohydrate metabolism) and provethat this substance is a neurotransmitter of the nervous system (mediator - a substance whose molecules can react with specific cell membrane receptors and change its permeability to certain ions, causing the occurrence of an electrical potential ;involved in the transmission of nerve impulses from the nerve endings in the working body and the one nerve cell to another). All catecholamines reflect and determine the state of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (autonomic nervous system - an autonomous part of the nervous system, is not subordinate to the will of man) play an important role in the neurohumoral regulation (neurohumoral regulation - a joint governing, coordinating and integrating effect of the nervous system, and biologically active substances metabolites, hormones ,mediators in the physiological processes in the body of animals and humans) in the trophic nervous (nervous trophic nervous system regulating effect on the structural and chemical organization of organs and tissues, their growth and development by influencing the metabolism) , are involved in metabolism and adaptive reactions of the organism ,providing a constant internal environment and physiological functions.

When Axelrod interested stimulants of the nervous system, the researchers almost did not have material relating to metabolism) of catecholamines in the body (metabolism - the intracellular conversion of certain substances from the moment they arrive to the formation of the final product) . After a series of studies, Axelrod singled catechol-O - methyltransferase, one of the two enzymes responsible for the breakdown of catecholamines (second enzyme - monoamine oxidase) . In the course of further work Axelrod and his team were able to prove ,that the transmission via the pulse ends with the beginning of catecholamine reuptake of catecholamines in the presynaptic fiber (synapse site of nerve cells contact with each other or with the tissues innervated by them) . In 1954, the English biophysicist Bernard Katz described the structure of synapses, including bubbles ,containing acetylcholine (acetylcholine nervous excitement transmitter in invertebrates and vertebrates, entering the blood, lowers blood pressure, slows the heart rate, increases gastric motility and gut, and others.) Katz suggested that the merger of the bubble with the synaptic membrane is released one portion (quantum) mediator. which interacts with the muscle cells, causing her single weak capacity limit of the muscle fiber plate. As a result of studies conducted by a group of Axelrod`s, it became clear that this type of selection is typical for norepinephrine. This pattern of allocation due to the factthat in the presynaptic region a large number of vesicles containing catecholamines. At the confluence with the synaptic vesicle membrane is also released a portion of the mediator.

Axelrod works devoted to the action of psychotropic drugs on the human body, have provedcocaine and reserpine alter catecholamine content in the bubbles, and also affect the rate of release of catecholamine at the confluence of the synaptic vesicle with the membrane.

In principle, hormones and mediators are biologically active substances produced in the body by specialized cells ,tissues or organs, and provides targeted impact on the activities of other organs and tissues. Julius Axelrod investigated the effect of mediators on the release of hormones and the effect of hormones on the release of neurotransmitters. In 1970 Julius Axelrod (jointly with Sir Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and storage mechanisms, release and inactivation. "

Among the awards : Award of the National Science Foundation (1958)Prize of the International Physiological Society (1961) , the prize for outstanding scientific achievements (Association of mental illness, 1965), the award Gardner Fund (1967) , the prize for outstanding scientific achievements (George Washington University, 1968).

Corresponding Member of the German Pharmacological Society, an honorary doctor of the University of Chicago,Member of the International Brain Research Organization, the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American Society of Chemists, biologists, a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

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