Actions of the Decarboxylase Inhibitor, α-Methyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, in the Dog


Alpha-methyl-3,4-dihydroxy-DL-pheny]alanme was shown by Sourkes1to be a potent inhibitor of the decarboxylation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine in vitro. This action was confirmed by animal studies in which the pharmacological actions of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 5-hydroxytryptophan were decreased by administration of this compound2,3. Further evidence of the activity of α-methyl-3,4-dihydroxy-DL-phenylalanine in vivo was obtained by Smith4, who reported that levels of serotonin in the brains of mice were decreased after parenteral administration of this compound. More recently, Oates et al. 5, in this Laboratory, observed a decrease in the formation of serotonin, tryptamine and tyramine from the precursor amino-acids when 1.0–6.0 gm./day of α-methyl-3,4-dihydroxy-DL-phenylalanine were administered to hypertensive patients. Associated with this decrease in amine production was the development of transient sedation and a lowering of the blood pressure.

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GOLDBERG, L., DACOSTA, F. & OZAKI, M. Actions of the Decarboxylase Inhibitor, α-Methyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, in the Dog. Nature 188, 502–504 (1960).

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