In Vivo Formation of Isoquinoline Alkaloids: Effect of Time and Route of Administration of Ethanol

  • Murray G. Hamilton
  • Kenneth Blum
  • Maurice Hirst
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 126)


In 1970 two groups demonstrated independently that ethanol or rather its first oxidation product, acetaldehyde, could induce catecholamines to undergo an unusual form of metabolism that resulted in the formation of 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline derivatives (Cohen and Collins, 1970; Davis and Walsh, 1970). A similar process was known to occur in many plants that elaborate isoquinoline alkaloids, wherein arylethylamines condense with carbonyl-containing substances to form Schiff’s bases that then undergo cyclisation (Kapadia and Fales, 1968; Leete and Braunstein, 1969), but these were the first indications that acetaldehyde could alter mammalian neuroamine metabolism in an analogous, biosynthetic fashion.


Biogenic Amine Liquid Diet Ethanol Vapour ISOQUINOLINE Alkaloid Identical Retention Time 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray G. Hamilton
    • 1
  • Kenneth Blum
    • 2
  • Maurice Hirst
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.University of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

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