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Biochem J. 1973 Jan;132(1):95-100.

Phenethylamines in brain and liver of rats with experimentally induced phenylketonuria-like characteristics.


1. Phenethylamines were extracted from brain and liver of rats with phenylketonuria-like characteristics produced in vivo by inhibition of phenylalanine hydroxylase (EC with p-chlorophenylalanine, with or without phenylalanine administration. To protect amines against oxidation by monoamine oxidase, pargyline was also administered. 2. beta-Phenethylamine was the major compound found in brain and liver. beta-Phenethanolamine and octopamine were also present, in lesser amounts, and the concentrations of these three amines paralleled blood phenylalanine concentrations. By comparison, tissues from control animals had only very low concentrations of these amines. 3. Small amounts of normetadrenaline, m-tyramine and 3-methoxytyramine were also found. 4. The inhibitors used, p-chlorophenylalanine and pargyline, gave rise to p-chlorophenethylamine and benzylamine respectively, the first via decarboxylation, the second probably by breakdown during extraction. 5. Distribution of phenethylamines in different brain regions and in subcellular fractions of rat brain cells was also investigated. The content of phenethylamine was highest in the striatum. 6. These findings are discussed in the light of changes occurring in human patients with uncontrolled phenylketonuria.

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