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Biosynthesis of indolealkylamines. Physiological release and transport of 5-hydroxytryptamine

  • Paul B. Hagen
  • Leonard H. Cohen
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology/Handbuch der experimentellen Pharmakologie book series (HEP, volume 19)

Abstract

During the past fifty years research on pharmacologically active bases normally present in mammalian tissues has provided considerable insight into the metabolism and physiological functions of acetylcholine, noradrenaline and adrenaline in peripheral nervous tissue and into the role of histamine in hypersensitivity. When, about ten years ago, attention was drawn to the presence in animal tissues of comparable amounts of yet another chemically related base, 5-hydroxytryptamine (Rapport 1948; Rand and Reid 1951; Erspamer and Avsero 1952), which also had pharmacological activity, it was natural that interest should develop in its biosynthesis and metabolism. It is probable that work on the biochemistry of indolealkylamines was considerably stimulated by the expectation that 5-hydroxytryptamine might be particularly important in mental activity and might, in fact, function as a chemical transmitter in the central nervous system much as acetylcholine or noradrenaline were known to function in neuro-muscular and autonomic nervous transmission. This suggestion was based, firstly, on the presence in the central nervous system of trace amounts of 5-hydroxytryptamine (Amin, Crawford and Gaddum 1954) and on the ability of several compounds which are structurally related to 5-hydroxytryptamine, and which block its effect on smooth muscle (Gaddum 1953 b), to influence mental activity (Stoll 1947 ; Gaddum 1953a and 1953b; Woolley and Shaw 1954) and, secondly, on the ability of tranquilizing drugs to reduce the amounts of this newly discovered amine in cerebral tissue (Pletscher, Shore and Brodie 1956). It was thought that knowledge of the biochemistry of 5-hydroxytryptamine might facilitate the development of compounds which could inhibit its synthesis or destruction, or which could mimic or block its pharmacological actions or its physiological activity, whatever that might turn out to be.

Keywords

Adrenal Medulla Alimentary Canal Decarboxylase Activity Pyridoxal Phosphate Phenylalanine Hydroxylase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag, Berlin · Heidelberg 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul B. Hagen
  • Leonard H. Cohen

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