The programmed cell death is a very complex mechanism involving many factors, among them the intracellular concentration of biogenic amines (BA) appears to be important for apoptosis triggering. The mitochondrial damage is imputable to hydrogen peroxide and aldehydes, produced by amine oxidases (AO)-mediated oxidation of BA. On the other hands, the apoptosis protection observed by high BA concentration appears to be related to their scavenger effect of ROS and/or their interaction with membrane pores. Also monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, like propargylamines, preserve the mitochondria integrity by inhibiting MAO and therefore the production of H2O2 and aldehydes and, as cations, by regulating membrane pores, like BA.
As general conclusion, apoptosis is protected by high concentration of BA and/or other cations while it is favoured by ROS produced by AOs or other mechanisms.