Measurement of Biogenic Amines at the Picogram Level

  • Juan M. Saavedra
Part of the Progress in Analytical Chemistry book series (PAC)


A number of enzymatic-isotopic methods for the assay of biogenic amines at the picogram level have been recently described. These assays allow the measurement of dopamine, norepinephrine, histamine, β-phenylethylamine, octopamine, phenylethanolamine, serotonin, N-acetylserotonin, and tryptamine in small areas of the brain and in body fluids. They are based on the incubation of the amines with specific methyltransferase enzymes, together with a donor of radioactive methyl groups, 3H-methyl-S-adenosyl-l-methionine. The enzymatically formed radioactive N or O methyl products are separated by solvent extraction and the radioactivity is counted. These assays are useful to determine the concentrations of putative neurotransmitters in individual brain nuclei of the rat brain, in isolated neurons from molluscs, and to study low levels of biogenic amines in human plasma under different physiological and pathological conditions.


Biogenic Amine Pineal Gland Phenyl Ethanol Ammonium Sulphate Fractionation Phenyl Ethanolamine 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan M. Saavedra
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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