Chromaffin System: The cells of the body which stain with chromium salts. They occur along the sympathetic nerves, in the adrenal gland, and in various other organs.Chromaffin Cells: Cells that store epinephrine secretory vesicles. During times of stress, the nervous system signals the vesicles to secrete their hormonal content. Their name derives from their ability to stain a brownish color with chromic salts. Characteristically, they are located in the adrenal medulla and paraganglia (PARAGANGLIA, CHROMAFFIN) of the sympathetic nervous system.Chromaffin Granules: Organelles in CHROMAFFIN CELLS located in the adrenal glands and various other organs. These granules are the site of the synthesis, storage, metabolism, and secretion of EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE.Adrenal Medulla: The inner portion of the adrenal gland. Derived from ECTODERM, adrenal medulla consists mainly of CHROMAFFIN CELLS that produces and stores a number of NEUROTRANSMITTERS, mainly adrenaline (EPINEPHRINE) and NOREPINEPHRINE. The activity of the adrenal medulla is regulated by the SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM.Catecholamines: A general class of ortho-dihydroxyphenylalkylamines derived from tyrosine.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Exocytosis: Cellular release of material within membrane-limited vesicles by fusion of the vesicles with the CELL MEMBRANE.Chromogranins: A group of acidic proteins that are major components of SECRETORY GRANULES in the endocrine and neuroendocrine cells. They play important roles in the aggregation, packaging, sorting, and processing of secretory protein prior to secretion. They are cleaved to release biologically active peptides. There are various types of granins, usually classified by their sources.Chromogranin A: A type of chromogranin which was first isolated from CHROMAFFIN CELLS of the ADRENAL MEDULLA but is also found in other tissues and in many species including human, bovine, rat, mouse, and others. It is an acidic protein with 431 to 445 amino acid residues. It contains fragments that inhibit vasoconstriction or release of hormones and neurotransmitter, while other fragments exert antimicrobial actions.Dopamine beta-HydroxylasePhenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase: A methyltransferase that catalyzes the reaction of S-adenosyl-L-methionine and phenylethanolamine to yield S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine and N-methylphenylethanolamine. It can act on various phenylethanolamines and converts norepinephrine into epinephrine. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 2.1.1.28.Veratridine: A benzoate-cevane found in VERATRUM and Schoenocaulon. It activates SODIUM CHANNELS to stay open longer than normal.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Secretory Vesicles: Vesicles derived from the GOLGI APPARATUS containing material to be released at the cell surface.Digitonin: A glycoside obtained from Digitalis purpurea; the aglycone is digitogenin which is bound to five sugars. Digitonin solubilizes lipids, especially in membranes and is used as a tool in cellular biochemistry, and reagent for precipitating cholesterol. It has no cardiac effects.Para-Aortic Bodies: Small masses of chromaffin cells found near the SYMPATHETIC GANGLIA along the ABDOMINAL AORTA, beginning cranial to the superior mesenteric artery (MESENTERIC ARTERY, SUPERIOR) or renal arteries and extending to the level of the aortic bifurcation or just beyond. They are also called the organs of Zuckerkandl and sometimes called aortic bodies (not to be confused with AORTIC BODIES in the THORAX). The para-aortic bodies are the dominant source of CATECHOLAMINES in the FETUS and normally regress after BIRTH.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Dimethylphenylpiperazinium Iodide: A selective nicotinic cholinergic agonist used as a research tool. DMPP activates nicotinic receptors in autonomic ganglia but has little effect at the neuromuscular junction.Nicotine: Nicotine is highly toxic alkaloid. It is the prototypical agonist at nicotinic cholinergic receptors where it dramatically stimulates neurons and ultimately blocks synaptic transmission. Nicotine is also important medically because of its presence in tobacco smoke.Enkephalin, Methionine: One of the endogenous pentapeptides with morphine-like activity. It differs from LEU-ENKEPHALIN by the amino acid METHIONINE in position 5. Its first four amino acid sequence is identical to the tetrapeptide sequence at the N-terminal of BETA-ENDORPHIN.Norepinephrine: Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-tyrosine, tetrahydrobiopterin, and oxygen to 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine, dihydrobiopterin, and water. EC 1.14.16.2.Epinephrine: The active sympathomimetic hormone from the ADRENAL MEDULLA. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic VASOCONSTRICTION and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the HEART, and dilates BRONCHI and cerebral vessels. It is used in ASTHMA and CARDIAC FAILURE and to delay absorption of local ANESTHETICS.Muscarine: A toxic alkaloid found in Amanita muscaria (fly fungus) and other fungi of the Inocybe species. It is the first parasympathomimetic substance ever studied and causes profound parasympathetic activation that may end in convulsions and death. The specific antidote is atropine.Cytoplasmic Granules: Condensed areas of cellular material that may be bounded by a membrane.Chromogranin B: A type of chromogranin which was initially characterized in a rat PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA CELL LINE. It is found in many species including human, rat, mouse, and others. It is an acidic protein with 626 to 657 amino acid residues. In some species, it inhibits secretion of PARATHYROID HORMONE or INSULIN and exerts bacteriolytic effects in others.Enkephalins: One of the three major families of endogenous opioid peptides. The enkephalins are pentapeptides that are widespread in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in the adrenal medulla.Enterochromaffin Cells: A subtype of enteroendocrine cells found in the gastrointestinal MUCOSA, particularly in the glands of PYLORIC ANTRUM; DUODENUM; and ILEUM. These cells secrete mainly SEROTONIN and some neuropeptides. Their secretory granules stain readily with silver (argentaffin stain).Paraganglia, Chromaffin: Small bodies containing chromaffin cells occurring outside of the adrenal medulla, most commonly near the sympathetic ganglia and in organs such as the kidney, liver, heart and gonads.Pheochromocytoma: A usually benign, well-encapsulated, lobular, vascular tumor of chromaffin tissue of the ADRENAL MEDULLA or sympathetic paraganglia. The cardinal symptom, reflecting the increased secretion of EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE, is HYPERTENSION, which may be persistent or intermittent. During severe attacks, there may be HEADACHE; SWEATING, palpitation, apprehension, TREMOR; PALLOR or FLUSHING of the face, NAUSEA and VOMITING, pain in the CHEST and ABDOMEN, and paresthesias of the extremities. The incidence of malignancy is as low as 5% but the pathologic distinction between benign and malignant pheochromocytomas is not clear. (Dorland, 27th ed; DeVita Jr et al., Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 3d ed, p1298)Intracellular Membranes: Thin structures that encapsulate subcellular structures or ORGANELLES in EUKARYOTIC CELLS. They include a variety of membranes associated with the CELL NUCLEUS; the MITOCHONDRIA; the GOLGI APPARATUS; the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM; LYSOSOMES; PLASTIDS; and VACUOLES.Annexin A7: An annexin family member that plays a role in MEMBRANE FUSION and signaling via VOLTAGE-DEPENDENT CALCIUM CHANNELS.Tetrabenazine: A drug formerly used as an antipsychotic and treatment of various movement disorders. Tetrabenazine blocks neurotransmitter uptake into adrenergic storage vesicles and has been used as a high affinity label for the vesicle transport system.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Reserpine: An alkaloid found in the roots of Rauwolfia serpentina and R. vomitoria. Reserpine inhibits the uptake of norepinephrine into storage vesicles resulting in depletion of catecholamines and serotonin from central and peripheral axon terminals. It has been used as an antihypertensive and an antipsychotic as well as a research tool, but its adverse effects limit its clinical use.PC12 Cells: A CELL LINE derived from a PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA of the rat ADRENAL MEDULLA. PC12 cells stop dividing and undergo terminal differentiation when treated with NERVE GROWTH FACTOR, making the line a useful model system for NERVE CELL differentiation.Electric Capacitance: The ability of a substrate to retain an electrical charge.Adrenergic Fibers: Nerve fibers liberating catecholamines at a synapse after an impulse.Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Nerve Fibers: Slender processes of NEURONS, including the AXONS and their glial envelopes (MYELIN SHEATH). Nerve fibers conduct nerve impulses to and from the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Sympathetic Nervous System: The thoracolumbar division of the autonomic nervous system. Sympathetic preganglionic fibers originate in neurons of the intermediolateral column of the spinal cord and project to the paravertebral and prevertebral ganglia, which in turn project to target organs. The sympathetic nervous system mediates the body's response to stressful situations, i.e., the fight or flight reactions. It often acts reciprocally to the parasympathetic system.Neuroma: A tumor made up of nerve cells and nerve fibers. (Dorland, 27th ed)Neural Crest: The two longitudinal ridges along the PRIMITIVE STREAK appearing near the end of GASTRULATION during development of nervous system (NEURULATION). The ridges are formed by folding of NEURAL PLATE. Between the ridges is a neural groove which deepens as the fold become elevated. When the folds meet at midline, the groove becomes a closed tube, the NEURAL TUBE.Embryology: The study of the development of an organism during the embryonic and fetal stages of life.Carcinoid Tumor: A usually small, slow-growing neoplasm composed of islands of rounded, oxyphilic, or spindle-shaped cells of medium size, with moderately small vesicular nuclei, and covered by intact mucosa with a yellow cut surface. The tumor can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract (and in the lungs and other sites); approximately 90% arise in the appendix. It is now established that these tumors are of neuroendocrine origin and derive from a primitive stem cell. (From Stedman, 25th ed & Holland et al., Cancer Medicine, 3d ed, p1182)Freeze Substitution: A modification of the freeze-drying method in which the ice within the frozen tissue is replaced by alcohol or other solvent at a very low temperature.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Cryopreservation: Preservation of cells, tissues, organs, or embryos by freezing. In histological preparations, cryopreservation or cryofixation is used to maintain the existing form, structure, and chemical composition of all the constituent elements of the specimens.Heart Failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Visual Prosthesis: Artificial device such as an externally-worn camera attached to a stimulator on the RETINA, OPTIC NERVE, or VISUAL CORTEX, intended to restore or amplify vision.Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Cardiac Output, Low: A state of subnormal or depressed cardiac output at rest or during stress. It is a characteristic of CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES, including congenital, valvular, rheumatic, hypertensive, coronary, and cardiomyopathic. The serious form of low cardiac output is characterized by marked reduction in STROKE VOLUME, and systemic vasoconstriction resulting in cold, pale, and sometimes cyanotic extremities.Heart Rate: The number of times the HEART VENTRICLES contract per unit of time, usually per minute.