Metabolism of prostaglandin F2 alpha in Zellweger syndrome. Peroxisomal beta-oxidation is a major importance for in vivo degradation of prostaglandins in humans

J Clin Invest. 1991 Sep;88(3):978-84. doi: 10.1172/JCI115401.


We have recently shown in vitro that the peroxisomal fraction of a rat liver homogenate has the highest capacity to beta-oxidize prostaglandins. In order to evaluate the relative importance of peroxisomes for this conversion also in vivo, we administered [3H]prostaglandin F2 alpha to an infant suffering from Zellweger syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of intact peroxisomes. As a control, labeled compound was administered to two healthy volunteers. Urine was collected, fractionated on a SEP-PAK C18 cartridge, and subjected to reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The Zellweger patient was found to excrete prostaglandin metabolites considerably less polar than those of the control subjects. The major urinary metabolite in the control subjects was practically absent in the urine from the Zellweger patient. The major urinary prostaglandin F2 alpha metabolite from the Zellweger patient was identified as an omega-oxidized C20-prostaglandin, 9,11-dihydroxy-15-oxoprost-5-ene-1,20-dioic acid. The major urinary prostaglandin F2 alpha metabolite from the control subjects had chromatographic properties of a tetranor (C16) prostaglandin, in accordance with earlier published data. The present results, in combination with our previous in vitro data, indicate that peroxisomal beta-oxidation is of major importance for in vivo chain shortening of prostaglandins.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dinoprost / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Microbodies / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Zellweger Syndrome / metabolism*


  • Dinoprost