Excitatory amino acids and monoamines in parahippocampal gyrus and frontal cortical pole of adults with Down syndrome

Life Sci. 1997;60(15):1231-7. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(97)00067-2.


Aspartate (ASP), glutamate (GLU), noradrenaline (NA), dopamine (DA) and its acidic metabolites DOPAC and HVA, serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite 5-HIAA were simultaneously investigated in post-mortem tissue samples from right parahippocampal gyrus (temporal cortex) and frontal cortical pole (frontal cortex) of adults with Down syndrome (DS), and of neurologically healthy controls by use of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In parahippocampal gyrus, ASP, GLU, NA, DOPAC and 5-HT levels were significantly decreased in patients with DS, compared to levels found in control subjects (approximately 50%). No significant changes were observed in frontal pole. ASP and GLU levels were significantly lower in parahippocampal gyrus than in frontal pole of DS, a regional distribution that could not be observed in control subjects. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the temporal cortex would be more affected than the frontal cortex in adult patients with DS, a finding in line with reports showing a marked hypometabolism and extensive cell loss in temporal cortex of DS, and with those showing that parahippocampal gyrus abnormality may correlate with the extent of mental retardation affecting this type of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Down Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Excitatory Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Excitatory Amino Acids