The Effects of Ethanol on Tryptophan Pyrrolase Activity and Their Comparison with Those of Phenobarbitone and Morphine

  • A. A.-B. Badawy
  • M. Evans
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 59)


Tryptophan pyrrolase (L-tryptophan-O2 oxidoreductase EC is the first and rate-limiting haem-dependent enzyme of the hepatic kynurenine-nicotinic acid pathway of tryptophan degradation. The importance of this pathway to general body metabolism is evident from the fact that its end-products are the important redox cofactors NAD+ and NADP+. It is also important to the brain because, being the quantitatively most important of all the tryptophan metabolic pathways, its activity can determine the extent of the brain uptake of the amino acid precursor of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT or serotonin), and there is evidence of an inverse relation between liver tryptophan pyrrolase activity and brain 5-HT concentration (Curzon, 1969). The role of 5-HT in the regulation of mood (Curzon, 1969; Lapin Oxenkrug, 1969), and its implication in the actions of alcohol have been previously discussed (Badawy Evans, 1973b).


Palmitic Acid Chronic Ethanol Serum Free Fatty Acid Total Enzyme Activity Morphine Sulphate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A.-B. Badawy
    • 1
  • M. Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.Addiction Unit Research Laboratory, Whitchurch HospitalUniversity Hospital of WalesCardiffUK

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