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Science. 1983 Mar 11;219(4589):1233-5.

Some neurons of the rat central nervous system contain aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase but not monoamines.


Neurons containing the enzyme aromatic-L-amino-acid decarboxylase (AADC) but lacking either tyrosine hydroxylase or serotonin were found in the spinal cord of neonatal and adult rats by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. The majority of these neurons localized to area X of Rexed contact ependyma. Thus, spinal AADC neurons have the enzymatic capacity to catalyze directly the conversion of the amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan, or phenylalanine to their respective amines tyramine, tryptamine, or phenylethylamine. These amines normally present in the central nervous system may be of potential clinical significance as endogenous psychotomimetics.

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