Effects of oral L-tyrosine administration on CSF tyrosine and homovanillic acid levels in patients with Parkinson's disease

Life Sci. 1982 Mar 8;30(10):827-32. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(82)90596-3.


To determine whether 1-tyrosine administration can enhance dopamine synthesis in humans as it does in rats, we measured levels of tyrosine and the major dopamine metabolite, homovanillic acid, in lumbar spinal fluids of 23 patients with Parkinson's disease before and during ingestion of 100 mg/kg/day of tyrosine. Nine patients took 100 mg/kg/day of probenecid in six divided doses for 24 hours prior to each spinal tap; 14 patients did not receive probenecid. L-tyrosine administration significantly increased CSF tyrosine levels in both groups of patients (p less than .01) and significantly increased homovanillic acid levels in the group of patients pretreated with probenecid (p less than .02). These data indicate that l-tyrosine administration can increase dopamine turnover in patients with disorders in which physicians wish to enhance dopaminergic neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Homovanillic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Parkinson Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Phenylacetates / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Probenecid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Tyrosine / administration & dosage
  • Tyrosine / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Phenylacetates
  • Tyrosine
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Probenecid
  • Homovanillic Acid