A review is presented of the monoamine-oxidizing enzymes with special reference to the activity of benzylamine oxidase (BzAO) in human tissues. Methods of study of amine oxidases, properties (chiefly of BzAO) and some problems concerning substrate and inhibitor specificity and multiple forms of monoamine oxidase (MAO) are surveyed. The substrate specificity of human plasma BzAO is compared with that of amine-oxidizing enzymes in plasma or serum of other species. Correlations of plasma BzAO and platelet MAO activity with clinical findings are discussed. The distribution of amine oxidase activities in solid human tissues is reviewed, in particular BzAO in blood vessels and richly-vascularized tissues, as well as kinetic constants and altered patterns of activity of BzAO in human atherosclerosis. Activities of the amine oxidases in non-vascular smooth muscle, in cultured cells, and in various tissues related to human gestation, are discussed. The present knowledge of BzAO is discussed in terms of its possible clinical relevance to several human disease states, and the importance of the enzyme in the human body.