Catecholamine is the name of a group of aromatic amines (noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine, and their derivatives) which act as hormones and neurotransmitter, respectively. Adrenaline and noradrenaline are formed from dopamine. They act on the cardiac musculature and the metabolism (adrenaline) as well as on the peripheral circulation (noradrenaline) and help the body to cope with acute and chronic stress.
An increased production of catecholamines can be found with tumors of the chromaffin system (pheochromocytoma, neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma). An increased or decreased concentration of the catecholamines can also be found with hypertension, degenerative cardiac diseases, schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis. The measurement of dopamine and its derivatives are of special diagnostic value with children who are suspected to have a neuroblastoma.
The competitive CAT ELISA kit uses the microtitre plate format. Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine, respectively, are bound to the solid phase of the microtiter plate. Acylated catecholamine from the sample and solid phase bound catecholamine to compete for a fixed number of antiserum binding sites. When the system is in equilibrium, free antigen and free antigen-antiserum complexes are removed by washing. The antibody bound to the solid phase catecholamine is detected by anti-rabbit IgG/peroxidase. The substrate TMB / peroxidase reaction is monitored at 450 nm. The amount of antibody bound to the solid phase catecholamine is inversely proportional to the catecholamine concentration of the sample.