Tetrahydroisoquinoline and its derivatives: the occurrence and the metabolism in the brain, and the effects on catecholamine metabolism

  • M. Naoi
  • T. Niwa
  • M. Yoshida
  • T. Nagatsu
Conference paper
Part of the Key Topics in Brain Research book series (KEYTOPICS)


1,2,3,4-Tetrahydroisoquinoline (TIQ) was identified in normal and parkinsonian human brains by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In human brain, N-methyl TIQ (NMTIQ) was formed by a N-methyltransferase in the cytosol fraction. The in vivo synthesis of NMTIQ was also confirmed in the brains of marmosets systematically administrated with TIQ. TIQ itself was not oxidized by monoamine oxidase, but NMTIQ was oxidized by both types A and B monoamine oxidase. The oxidative product, N-methylisoquinolinium ion (NMIQ+), inhibited enzymes participating in catecholamine metabolism, such as tyrosine hydroxylase, DOPA decarboxylase and monoamine oxidase. The uptake of NMIQ+ was mediated by the dopamine transport system. These data support our view that TIQ and its derivatives may be candidates of dopaminergic neurotoxin similar to l-methyl-4-phenyl-l,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP).


Tyrosine Hydroxylase Dopaminergic Neuron Monoamine Oxidase Dopa Decarboxylase Catecholamine Metabolism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Naoi
    • 1
  • T. Niwa
    • 2
  • M. Yoshida
    • 3
  • T. Nagatsu
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of BioscienceNagoya Institute of TechnologyShowa-ku, Nagoya 466Japan
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineNagoya University Branch HospitalNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyJichi Medical SchoolTochigiJapan
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryNagoya University School of MedicineNagoyaJapan

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