Serum phenylalanine in patients post trauma and with sepsis correlate to neopterin concentrations

Amino Acids. 2008 Aug;35(2):303-7. doi: 10.1007/s00726-007-0625-x. Epub 2007 Dec 28.

Abstract

Increased blood concentrations of phenylalanine in patients with trauma and sepsis are common but unexplained. We examined the potential relationship between serum concentrations of phenylalanine and the immune activation marker neopterin in 84 specimens of 18 patients (14 males and 4 females) post-trauma during 12-14 days of follow up. Compared to healthy controls, average phenylalanine and neopterin concentrations were elevated in patients, and there existed a positive correlation between concentrations of the two analytes (r (s) = 0.375, p < 0.001). No such association existed between neopterin and tyrosine concentrations (r (s) = -0.018), but neopterin concentrations correlated to the phenylalanine to tyrosine ratio (r (s) = 0.328, p = 0.001). Increased phenylalanine implies insufficient conversion by phenylalanine (4)-hydroxylase (PAH). Oxidative stress due to immune activation and inflammation may destroy cofactor 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin and impair PAH activity. This assumption is further supported by the correlation found between higher neopterin concentrations and higher phenylalanine to tyrosine ratio, which estimates efficacy of PAH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopterin / analogs & derivatives
  • Biopterin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neopterin / blood*
  • Oxidative Stress / immunology
  • Phenylalanine / blood*
  • Phenylalanine / chemistry
  • Phenylalanine / metabolism
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase / chemistry
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sepsis / blood*
  • Tyrosine / biosynthesis
  • Wounds and Injuries / blood*

Substances

  • Biopterin
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Neopterin
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase
  • sapropterin