Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone and neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the human body. It is produced by the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys.
It is produced in the following situations:
- Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system is a part of the autonomic nervous system that is activated in response to stressful situations. When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it sends signals to the adrenal glands to release hormones, including adrenaline. For example, when a person faces a dangerous situation or experiences an intense emotion, such as fear or excitement, nerve signals sent to the central nervous system and the adrenal glands trigger the production of adrenaline.
- Synthesis in the adrenal glands: the adrenal glands are two small organs located above the kidneys. When they receive signals from the nervous system, they begin to synthesize adrenaline from an amino acid called tyrosine. Tyrosine is converted to dopamine through a series of chemical reactions, and then dopamine is converted to noradrenaline. Finally, noradrenaline is converted to adrenaline by another series of enzymatic reactions.
- Release into the bloodstream: once sufficient adrenaline has been synthesized in the adrenal glands, it is released directly into the bloodstream. From there, adrenaline travels throughout the body, reaching tissues and organs, where it triggers specific responses depending on the situation, such as increased heart rate and airway dilation.
- Degradation and elimination: after finishing its function in the body, adrenaline is gradually degraded and eliminated. Enzymes in the body break down adrenaline into metabolites that are then excreted through the urine.
Adrenaline is released in response to situations of stress, danger or intense emotion to prepare the body to cope quickly and effectively.
- dilate the bronchi, which increases the amount of oxygen reaching the lungs and improves the ability to breathe in stressful situations.
- increases heart rate and strength of cardiac contractions. This increases blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues.
- directs blood flow to the skeletal muscles and away from less critical areas, such as the skin and digestive system.
- stimulates the release of stored glucose in the liver and muscles, providing additional energy for a fight or flight response.
Use of adrenaline in aesthetic medicine
Adrenaline has several applications in aesthetic medicine due to its vasoconstrictive and hemostatic properties. It is not usually used as the main component in aesthetic treatments, but it is used in certain procedures to improve results and minimize bleeding.
As it constricts blood vessels, in procedures such as liposuction, plastic surgery and dermatological surgery, adrenaline can be added to the tumescent solution or infiltration fluid. This helps reduce bleeding during the procedure and speeds recovery.
The vasoconstrictor property of adrenaline helps to reduce blood flow in filler or botox procedures. This minimizes the risk of bruising.
It can also help reduce postoperative swelling in aesthetic procedures and, in some procedures, is combined with local anesthetics to prolong the action.
Commitment to quality
This text on adrenaline has been prepared by professional editors. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.
At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.
Among others, we have used the following sources:
- Verberne AJ, Korim WS, Sabetghadam A, Llewellyn-Smith IJ. «Adrenaline: insights into its metabolic roles in hypoglycaemia and diabetes» en Br J Pharmacol. 2016 May;173(9):1425-37. doi: 10.1111/bph.13458.
- Luqman A, Götz F. «The ambivalent role of skin microbiota and adrenaline in wound healing and the interplay between them». Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 8;22(9):4996. doi: 10.3390/ijms22094996.