Agents and Actions

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 351–355

N-methyl-N-formylhydrazine: A toxic and mutagenic inhibitor of the intestinal diamine oxidase


  • T. Biegński
    • Department of Biogenic AminesInstitute of Pharmacology
  • R. Braun
    • Bundesgesundheitsamt Berlin
  • J. Kusche
    • Biochemical and Experimental Division, II. Department of SurgeryUniversity of Cologne
Distribution and Metabolism of Histamine

DOI: 10.1007/BF01973825

Cite this article as:
Biegński, T., Braun, R. & Kusche, J. Agents and Actions (1984) 14: 351. doi:10.1007/BF01973825


N-methyl-N-formylhydrazine is the first active intermediate of the poison gyromitrin of the mushroom: false morel. This compound is a non-competitive inhibitor of human intestinal diamine oxidase (ID50=1.6×10−5 mol/l). This concentration corresponds to less than 5g of wet weight of mushroom/l. The diamine oxidases from 5 other sources are inhibited in a similar manner. Semicarbazide and aminoguanidine are 10-respectively 1000-fold more potent inhibitors of the human intestinal diamine oxidase. An involvement of the diamine oxidase inhibitory property ofN-methyl-N-formylhydrazine in toxic and mutagenic effects of the substance is considered.

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© Birkhäuser Verlag 1984