Contribution of serum and cellular semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase to amine metabolism and cardiovascular toxicity

D. J. Conklin, S. D. Langford, P. J. Boor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) plays a role in the in vivo and in vitro toxicity of several environmental and endogenous amines. We investigated the role of SSAO as a component of cell culture medium (through addition of fetal calf serum (FCS)) compared to intracellular SSAO in the in vitro cytotoxicity of three amines and metabolites. Smooth muscle cells and beating cardiac myocytes were grown in 96-well plates and exposed to various concentrations and combinations of FCS in medium, amines (allylamine, AA; benzylamine, BZA; and methylamine, MA), and amine metabolites (aldehydes: acrolein, benzaldehyde, and formaldehyde; hydrogen peroxide, H2O2; ammonia, NH3). Amine and amine metabolite cytotoxicity was quantified by monitoring cell viability. SSAO activity was measured in FCS, cardiovascular cells, or rat plasma by a radioenzymatic assay using [14C]BZA. Our data show that AA and its aldehyde metabolite, acrolein, were the most toxic compounds to both cell types. However, AA toxicity was FCS-dependent in both cell types, while BZA, MA, and amine metabolite (i.e., aldehydes, H2O2, and NH3) cytotoxicity showed little FCS dependence. In these experiments, medium containing 10% FCS had a calculated amine metabolic capacity that was 30- to 50-fold that of the cultured smooth muscle cellular content in a single well of a 96-well plate. Our study demonstrates that SSAO in FCS contributes to amine metabolism and cytotoxicity to rat cardiovascular cells in vitro and how critical it is to evaluate serum for its role in mechanisms of amine toxicity in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Allylamine
  • Amines
  • Benzylamine
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Methylamine
  • SSAO
  • Vascular metabolism
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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