Assay of salsolinol in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of alcoholics and healthy subjects by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Research paper by H H Haber, H H Jahn, H H Ehrenreich, M F MF Melzig

Indexed on: 28 Oct '03Published on: 28 Oct '03Published in: Addiction Biology


Endogenous 6,7-dihydroxy-1-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (salsolinol) could be a potential marker involved in the aetiology of alcoholism. Whereas the amount of salsolinol in plasma and urine depends on several dietary conditions, the salsolinol from peripheral mononuclear cells should be formed endogenously. Salsolinol was quantified in lymphocytes of 10 controls and 11 alcoholics (after 1 and 13 weeks of abstinence) using solid phase extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Alcoholics showed significantly lower salsolinol concentration than the controls. After 13 weeks of abstinence a further significant decrease of SAL levels could be seen in the lymphocytes of alcoholics. The findings of this study support the theory that salsolinol might be a trait marker in alcoholism.