Biogenic amines are organic bases of low molecular weight substances that contain one or more amine group and are synthesised by microbial, animal and vegetable metabolisms. They are formed by transamination of ketones and aldehydes or by decarboxylation of amino acids. Biogenic amines play an important role as a source of nitrogen and precursor for the synthesis of proteins, hormones, nucleic acids, amines, alkaloids and food aroma components. They are found in all foods that contain free amino acids or proteins, this includes products such as; meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, dairy, chocolate and nuts.
- Adrenaline (Epinephrine): Hormone that is found to be secreted from the medulla of the adrenal glands. Strong emotions such as anger and fear cause epinephrine to be released into the bloodstream, resulting in increasing heart rate, blood pressure, sugar metabolism and muscle strength. This reaction is also commonly referred to as flight-or-fight response and prepares the body for strenuous activity.
- Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine): Substance that is predominantly stored and released from the sympathetic nervous system. It functions to increase the rate and force of contraction by the heart and the muscles. This is a vital action in preparing the body for the flight-or-fight response, in order to retreat or react from an acute treat.
- Dopamine: Neurotransmitter which helps to regulate emotional and movement responses, it controls the brains pleasure and reward centres. Deficiency in dopamine results in Parkinson’s disease and there is also evidence to suggest that people with low dopamine activity are more prone to addiction.
- Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT): A monoamine neurotransmitter that is derived from tryptophan and is primarily found platelets, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and in the central nervous system (CNS). It is also known as a “happiness hormone” despite the fact that it is not a hormone because it is a well-known contributor to feelings of well-being.
- Histamine: An amine that is secreted by mast and basophils cells (found in connective tissue) as part of the local immune response to cause inflammation. The released histamine can cause capillaries to become more permeable to white blood cells and other proteins, this helps to attack and target foreign bodies in the affected tissue. Histamine also performs several other important functions in the bowel and can also act as a chemical messenger or a neurotransmitter which carries signals from one nerve to another.
- Other Biogenic Amines: melatonin, glutamate, GABA, tryptophan, metanephrine, normetanephrine, nephrines and metanephrine.
We offer the most exciting ranges of immunoassays which can be used for the measurement of biogenic amines and their metanephrine metabolites in plasma and urine samples. These are high sensitivity assays which provide results that are comparable to HPLC. Unlike HPLC, no drug interferences is known so far – hence no possibility of misinterpretation of various clinical states. Finally, since they have been validated on open automated ELISA systems, this can provide the potential for high throughput sample analysis.