Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 324, Issue 3, pp 190–195 | Cite as

Monoamine oxidase in pancreatic islets, exocrine pancreas, and liver from rats. Characterization with clorgyline, deprenyl, pargyline, tranylcypromine, and amezinium

  • S. Lenzen
  • H. Nahrstedt
  • U. Panten


Monoamine oxidase (MAO) was characterized in tissue homogenates from pancreatic islets, exocrine pancreas, and liver from rats. Phenylethylamine was preferentially deaminated by pancreatic islet MAO while 5-hydroxytryptamine was preferentially deaminated by MAO from exocrine pancreas, and tyramine was a good substrate for both tissues. All three substrates were well deaminated by liver tissue. Clorgyline, a selective inhibitor of MAO-A, preferentially inhibited deamination of 5-hydroxytryptamine by all three tissue homogenates, while deprenyl, a selective inhibitor of MAO-B, preferentially inhibited deamination of phenylethylamine. In the case of pargyline, a less selective MAO-B inhibitor, the preference in favour of phenylethylamine was less pronounced. According to these results, MAO in pancreatic islets can be classified as predominantly type B enzyme species and MAO in exocrine pancreas as predominantly type A enzyme species while both types of the enzyme are present in the liver. Using the same three MAO substrates and compared with the effects of the selective enzyme inhibitors, clorgyline and deprenyl, tranylcypromine can be classified as a potent nonselective inhibitor of MAO in homogenates of all three tissues investigated with a slight preference in favour of the inhibition of the B-form of the enzyme, while in contrast amezinium can be classified as a weak nonselective inhibitor of MAO with a slight preference in favour of the inhibition of the A-form of the enzyme. All MAO inhibitors tested also inhibited insulin secretion by isolated incubated rat pancreatic islets, however only at IC50 which were two to three decimal powers higher than those necessary for the inhibition of the MAO activity, thus indicating that inhibition of MAO activity and inhibition of insulin secretion are apparently not closely related.

Key words

Monoamine oxidase Pancreatic islets Exocrine pancreas Liver Amezinium 

Abbreviation used


monoamine oxidase


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Lenzen
    • 1
  • H. Nahrstedt
    • 1
  • U. Panten
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Pharmakologie und ToxikologieUniversität GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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