Do marine mollusks possess aphrodisiacal properties?

MEDI 401

Raul A. Mirza, raulmirza@aol.com1, Jean-Joseph Poisson, jeanjosephpoisson@hotmail.com1, George Fisher, gfisher@mail.barry.edu2, Antimo D'Aniello3, Patrizia Spinelli3, and Gabrielle Ferrandino3. (1) School of Natural and Health Sciences, Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores, FL 33161, (2) Department of Chemistry, Barry University, Miami, FL 33161, (3) Laboratory of Neurobiology, Stazione Zoologica, "Anton Dohrn", Villa Communale I, Naples, 80121, Italy
For centuries marine bivalves have been thought to possess aphrodisiacal properties. Recent evidence has demonstrated that D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) are endogenously present in the endocrine tissues of rats and incur a natural role in the release of hormones that are involved in reproductive activity, e.g., luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), progesterone and testosterone. We sought to determine the concentrations of D-Asp and NMDA in the most consumed Mediterranean bivalve mollusks. These were homogenized in 70% methanol then purified by anion exchange and passed through a C18 Sep-Pak. D-Asp and NMDA were then determined by the use of two sensitive methods: (i) colorimetric methods based on the determination of oxaloacetate and hydrogen peroxide obtained from the oxidation of D-Asp and NMDA with D-aspartate oxidase (D-AspO) and (ii) the fluorometric high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) method in combination with D-AspO to determine D-Asp and NMDA individually. We have determined the presence of D-Asp and NMDA in the following bivalve mollusks: Mytilus galloprovincialis, Tapes decussates, Chamalea gallina and Donax trunculus. Since D-Asp and NMDA have been proven to act on the release of sexual hormones and since prior investigations have established a correlation of D-Asp and NMDA with testosterone, estradiol and sexual activity, we believe it plausible that the presence of D-Asp and NMDA in these mollusks could correlate with aphrodisiacal properties of these mollusks. Supported by NIH MIRT Grant TW00033, Barry University and Stazione Zoologica “Anton Dohrn”.

Poster Session
6:00 PM-8:00 PM, Wednesday, 16 March 2005 Convention Center -- Sails Pavilion, Poster

Division of Medicinal Chemistry

The 229th ACS National Meeting, in San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2005