Where does plasma methylglyoxal originate from?

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2013 Mar;99(3):260-71. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2012.11.003. Epub 2012 Dec 1.


The elevation of plasma methylglyoxal levels in diabetic humans is widely observed, but it is unknown to what extent different sources of methylglyoxal contribute to its plasma concentration. A retrospective analysis of clinical findings has been undertaken. There is controversy about the correlation of plasma methylglyoxal concentrations with fasting or postprandial glucose levels, and the relationship with HbA1c. There is only one study in which plasma ketone body levels have been monitored in parallel with methylglyoxal and a positive correlation between plasma methylglyoxal and β-hydroxybutyrate was observed. There are no reports on plasma aminoacetone levels and methylglyoxal in diabetic humans. This paper suggests that although there is a close association between methylglyoxal and carbohydrate metabolism, the presence of this 1,2-dicarbonyl in the plasma is mainly due to other mechanisms. Protein glycation and aminoacetone degradation are proposed to be the major and the minor sources of plasma methylglyoxal under normal conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetone / analogs & derivatives
  • Acetone / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Pyruvaldehyde / blood*
  • Pyruvaldehyde / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Acetone
  • Pyruvaldehyde
  • aminoacetone