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Brain Res Bull. 1982 Jul-Dec;9(1-6):xi-xv.

Fluorescence of catechol amines and related compounds condensed with formaldehyde.


The reaction under mild conditions between formaldehyde and phenylalanine and phenylethylamine derivatives has been studied. When the amines included in a dried protein film were exposed to formaldehyde vapour a very intense green to yellow fluorescence was given only by those that as well as being primary amines also have hydroxyl groups at the 3 and 4 positions (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, dopamine, noradrenaline). The 3-OH group seems to be essential for the reaction. The catechol amines, which are secondary amines (adrenaline, epinine), gave a much weaker fluorescence that developed more slowly. The results obtained on further examination of the reaction favour the view that the amines primarily condense with formaldehyde to 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolines which are involved in a secondary reaction to become highly fluorescent and at the same time insoluble. This secondary reaction may be a binding to protein, an oxidation with the formation of double bonds in the heterocyclic ring, or both.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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