Central-nervous-system methyl-group metabolism in children with neurological complications of HIV infection

Lancet. 1990 Mar 17;335(8690):619-21. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(90)90409-x.


To assess methyl-group metabolism in the central nervous system in infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), levels of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, methionine, and S-adenosylmethionine were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from six children with congenital HIV infection and neurological complications. Total neopterins were also measured, as a marker of macrophage activation. In all six children concentrations of one or more methyl-group carriers were lower than those in a reference population of children, and all of the five in whom CSF neopterins were measured had higher than normal levels. Defective methylation may play a part in the neurological damage caused by HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biopterin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Biopterin / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalitis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Encephalitis / etiology
  • HIV Seropositivity / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • HIV Seropositivity / complications
  • HIV Seropositivity / congenital
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Methionine / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Methylation
  • Neopterin
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Tetrahydrofolates / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Tetrahydrofolates
  • Biopterin
  • Neopterin
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Methionine
  • 5-methyltetrahydrofolate