Extraordinary changes in excitatory amino acid levels in cerebrospinal fluid of influenza-associated encephalopathy of children

Neurochem Res. 2004 Aug;29(8):1537-40. doi: 10.1023/b:nere.0000029566.22533.c6.


The correlation between the glutamate-glutamine cycle and nitric oxide (NO) production in the central nervous system (CNS) of a new type of influenza-associated encephalopathy in children is discussed. When measurements of several amino acids and NOx (nitrite/nitrate) levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using HPLC-fluorescence and -UV methods, respectively, were made. the CSF glutamate levels of patients with the new type of encephalitis were significantly lower, and both glutamine and NOx levels were significantly higher than those of the control group and the patients of the meningitis group. Results indicate that the turnover rate of glutamate in CNS, particularly in the brain, increases in the influenza-associated encephalopathy. The high mortality in the disease may correlate with the hyperactivity of supra-spinal glutamate neurons and the subsequent high activity levels of NOx in CNS.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Brain Diseases / virology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Excitatory Amino Acids / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Glutamic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Glutamine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza, Human / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Influenza, Human / complications
  • Meningitis, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Excitatory Amino Acids
  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic Acid