DURING the past 5 years much progress has been made with regard to the study of amine oxidase inhibitors.1-3 These substances are capable of blocking the activity of certain enzymes (amine oxidases) that are widely distributed in the body, most commonly in nerve tissue, liver, and lungs. Among the substances inactivated by the amine oxidase system are epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, three vasoactive compounds capable of producing marked alterations in blood pressure. A substance or substances (monoamine oxidase [MAO] inhibitors) capable of blocking this enzyme action would allow a "build-up" or increase in the amount of vasoactive material, with its resultant physiologic effects.
In contrast, other compounds may act by reducing the amount of vasoactive material in the vasomotor areas of the brain or periphery. Some observers believe that reserpine and related drugs produce a fall in the level of serotonin and/or norepinephrine in the periphery, and that
Moser M, Brodoff B, Bakan H, Miller A. Experience with Isocarboxazid. JAMA. 1961;176(4):276–280. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040170001006
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