Papers And Originals

Action of dopamine on the human iris

Br Med J 1969; 4 doi: (Published 08 November 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:333
  1. A. S. D. Spiers,
  2. D. B. Calne


    Dopamine eye drops produce marked dilatation of the pupil in man. This mydriatic effect is inhibited by pretreatment with guanethidine. It is therefore concluded that dopamine acts indirectly via adrenergic nerve endings, rather than exerting a direct effect on adrenergic receptors in the dilator pupillae muscle. In this respect dopamine resembles the phenyl-alkylamines, such as tyramine, rather than the catecholamines, adrenaline and noradrenaline.

    If dopamine acts by releasing noradrenaline from adrenergic nerve endings, high concentrations of dopamine could lead to depletion of noradrenaline stores, since synthesis might be unable to keep pace with release. This could be the explantion for the orthostatic hypotension found in patients taking L-dopa for Parkinsonism.