Evidence is established for the existence of alternative metabolic routes of N-oxidation of NN-dimethylaniline in rabbit liver microsomal fraction. One pathway involves the participation of two types of cytochrome P-450 with different sensitivities towards heat. Both types may represent distinct haemoprotein species or two physical forms of a single pigment. The other pathway is represented by the mixed-function amine oxidase. The enzyme lacks NADPH dehydrogenase activity and is insensitive to treatment with 2-bromo-4'-nitroacetophenone and steapsin: it catalyses N-oxidation of imipramine, trimethylamine and NN-dimethylaniline in molar proportions considerably different from those of the cytochrome P-450-supported reactions. Cytochrome P-450 is estimated to account for the formation of at least 50-60% of the total NN-dimethylaniline N-oxide formed in the intact rabbit liver microsomal fraction, the remainder arising from the action of the mixed-function amine oxidase.

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