The Simpler Natural Bases

Cover of book The Simpler Natural Bases
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PERTIES OF THE AMINES DERIVED FROM AMINO-ACIDS. The chief interest attached to the amines described in this chapter is due to their physiological action and to the possibility of their formation in the organism, wherever proteins or amino-acids are exposed to bacterial action as, for instance, in the intestine. By far the most active amines are those containing a ring, namely those derived from phenyl-alanine, tyrosine, tryptophane, and histidine. Their formation does not take place in acid solution, and would, therefore, appear to be prevented or lessened by the sour-milk treatment recommended by Metchnikoff. Berthelot and Bertrand [1913, I] find, however, that their Bacillus aminophilus even produces /3-iminazolylethylamine in O-3 per cent. lactic acid, unless much glucose is present, when the sugar alone is attacked. The same investigators [1913, 2] find that rats, fed on a milk diet, are not affected by either Proteus vulgaris or B. aminophilus intestinalis when given separately, but that if the two organisms are given simultaneously, the rats may develop a fatal diarrhoea in from 4-8 days. Normally these putrefactive amines appear to be destroyed in the liver; Ewins and Laidlaw [1910, 3; 1913] have shown that p-hydroxy-phenyl-ethylamine and indole-ethylamine are transformed by perfusion through a surviving liver into p-hydroxy-phenyl- acetic acid and indole-acetic acid respectively. Oehme [1913] states that o-6 mg. may kill a rabbit when given intravenously, but that the lethal dose is much higher when injected into the portal circulation. Rabbits will even stand O-5 grm. by the mouth. Nevertheless the amines may perhaps play a part in certain diseases ; thus p-hydroxy- phenyl-ethylamine may be connected with a persistent high blood pressure, and Mellanby...

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The Simpler Natural Bases
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