D-serine in the developing human central nervous system

Ann Neurol. 2006 Oct;60(4):476-80. doi: 10.1002/ana.20977.


To elucidate the role of D-serine in human central nervous system, we analyzed D-serine, L-serine, and glycine concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of healthy children and children with a defective L-serine biosynthesis (3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase deficiency). Healthy children showed high D-serine concentrations immediately after birth, both absolutely and relative to glycine and L-serine, declining to low values at infancy. D-Serine concentrations were almost undetectable in untreated 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase-deficient patients. In one patient treated prenatally, D-serine concentration was nearly normal at birth and the clinical phenotype was normal. These observations suggest a pivotal role for D-serine in normal and aberrant human brain development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glycine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Glycine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Phosphoglycerate Dehydrogenase / deficiency
  • Serine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Serine / physiology*
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Serine
  • Phosphoglycerate Dehydrogenase
  • Glycine