Tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes following thiamine deficiency

Neurochem Int. 2004 Dec;45(7):1021-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2004.05.007.


Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) leads to memory deficits and neurological disease in animals and humans. The thiamine-dependent enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle are reduced following TD and in the brains of patients that died from multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Whether reductions in thiamine or thiamine-dependent enzymes leads to changes in all TCA cycle enzymes has never been tested. In the current studies, the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) and all of enzymes of the TCA cycle were measured in the brains of TD mice. Non-thiamine-dependent enzymes such as succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), succinate thiokinase (STH) and malate dehydrogenase (MDH) were altered as much or more than thiamine-dependent enzymes such as the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (KGDHC) (-21.5%) and PDHC (-10.5%). Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity decreased by 27% and succinate thiokinase (STH) decreased by 24%. The reductions in these other enzymes may result from oxidative stress because of TD or because these other enzymes of the TCA cycle are part of a metabolon that respond as a group of enzymes. The results suggest that other TCA cycle enzymes should be measured in brains from patients that died from neurological disease in which thiamine-dependent enzymes are known to be reduced. The diminished activities of multiple TCA cycle enzymes may be important in our understanding of how metabolic lesions alter brain function in neurodegenerative disorders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Citric Acid Cycle / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Thiamine Deficiency / enzymology*