A biogenic amine is a biogenic substance
with an amine
Some prominent examples of biogenic amines include:
- Histamine - a substance derived from the amino acid histidine that acts as a neurotransmitter mediating arousal and attention, as well as a pro-inflammatory signal released from mast cells in response to allergic reactions or tissue damage. Histamine is also an important stimulant of HCl secretion by the stomach through histamine H2 receptors.
- Tyramine - a substance that is found in many common foods, and is associated with increased blood pressure and headaches.
- Serotonin - a central nervous system neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and sexuality.
- The three catecholamine neurotransmitters:
- Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) - a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and wakefulness, attention, and feeding behavior, as well as a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands that regulates the sympathetic nervous system.
- Epinephrine (adrenaline) - an adrenal stress hormone, as well as a neurotransmitter present at lower levels in the brain.
- Dopamine - a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, reward, addiction, behavioral reinforcement, and coordination of bodily movement.
- Tryptamine - a monoamine alkaloid found in trace amounts in the brains of mammals, and believed to play a role as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter.
There is a distinction between endogenous
biogenic amines. Endogenous amines are produced in many different tissues (for example: adrenaline in adrenal medulla
or histamine in mast cells
). The amines are transmitted locally or via the blood system. The exogenous amines are directly absorbed from food in the intestine
can increase the absorption rate. The monoamineoxidase (MAO
) breaks down biogenic amines and prevents excessive resorption
. MAOIs are also used as medications for the treatment of depression to prevent MAO from breaking down amines important for positive mood.