Copper and the brain noradrenergic system

Svetlana Lutsenko, Clorissa Washington-Hughes, Martina Ralle, Katharina Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Copper (Cu) plays an essential role in the development and function of the brain. In humans, genetic disorders of Cu metabolism may cause either severe Cu deficiency (Menkes disease) or excessive Cu accumulation (Wilson disease) in the brain tissue. In either case, the loss of Cu homeostasis results in catecholamine misbalance, abnormal myelination of neurons, loss of normal brain architecture, and a spectrum of neurologic and/or psychiatric manifestations. Several metabolic processes have been identified as particularly sensitive to Cu dis-homeostasis. This review focuses on the role of Cu in noradrenergic neurons and summarizes the current knowledge of mechanisms that maintain Cu homeostasis in these cells. The impact of Cu misbalance on catecholamine metabolism and functioning of noradrenergic system is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1188
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Catecholamines
  • Copper
  • Dopamine-β-hydroxylase
  • Locus coeruleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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