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Biochem Pharmacol. 1986 May 1;35(9):1445-51.

Effects of tricyclic antidepressant drugs on energy-linked reactions in mitochondria.


The effects of impramine and chlorimipramine on energy-linked reactions in mitochondria were characterized. Both compounds exhibited some characteristics of classical uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation, i.e. they released respiratory control, hindered ATP synthesis, and enhanced ATPase activity of isolated rat liver mitochondria. Unlike classical uncouplers, however, these compounds only weakly stimulated proton uptake in intact mitochondria. They also exhibited unusual effects on energy-linked reactions in beef heart submitochondrial particles (SMP). Both compounds inhibited NADH oxidation in SMP in an "oligomycin-like" manner, and inhibited ATPase activity of SMP and the soluble F1-ATPase. In contrast, the drugs weakly inhibited ATPase activities of bovine adrenal gland chromaffin granules and resealed granule ghosts. The mechanisms responsible for the multiple effects on mitochondrial energy-linked processes are unclear. They may be related to the hydrophobicity of the drugs, as has been shown for other hydrophobic amines.

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