Alcohol, Amines, and Alkaloids: A Possible Biochemical Basis for Alcohol Addiction

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Science  13 Feb 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3920, pp. 1005-1007
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3920.1005


Tetrahydropapaveroline is a benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloidderivative of the biogenic amine, dopnmine. Alcohol, by way of its primary metabolite, acetaldehyde, competitively inhibits nicotinamide-adenine Sinucleotide-linked aldehyde dehydrogenase and augments the formation of tetrahydropapaveroline in vitro. The limited capacity of brain to oxidize aldehydes may be of pharmacological importance because it facilitates the production of tetrahydropapaveroline in the presence of drugs which inhibit this enzyme.

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