Pirokatekhini (synonym catecholamines) - a group of natural compounds containing a ring pirokatekhini with lateral two-carbon chain ethylamine, or ethanolamine, or N-methylethanolamine
Pirokatekhini play a significant role in the regulatory and adaptive reactions in the body and is characterized by high pharmacodynamic activity. Most of biomedical importance adrenaline (see), norepinephrine (see) and dopamine. The function of pirokatekhini closely connected with the sympathetic-adrenal system. They are hormones (mainly adrenaline) and mediators (noradrenaline). P. unstable, easily oxidized in an alkaline environment, and under the influence of light. At oxidation P. form painted "quinoid" products that are moving in certain circumstances in connection intensive fluorescent in ultraviolet rays. In the basis of modern methods of research of P. is the intensity of the fluorescence and conditions of its development.
Pirokatekhini influence numerous biochemical processes and physiological functions; especially expressed their action on energy, carbohydrate and phosphoric metabolism, nervous and cardiovascular systems. In animals and humans P. undergo various transformations (binding proteins and other compounds, O-methylation, acidification, the formation of pairs Efrosinya and glucurone acids and so on). Oxidation pastels can be done in different ways: "aminooxidase" oxidation (under the influence of monoamine oxidase), "quinoid" oxidation. In the processes of oxidation P. intermediate products are formed, lost properties and functions source of hormones, mediators, but acquired new properties and functions.
Some intermediate products exchange of pirokatekhini may have pathogenic significance for different diseases, in particular in psychosis and cardiomyopathy. In the clinic, especially mental health, often used substances affecting currency P. Among such substances particular place occupy compounds affecting the monoamine oxidase - the so-called MAO inhibitors (iprase and others).