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Tetrahydrobiopterin treatment reduces brain L-Phe but only partially improves serotonin in hyperphenylalaninemic ENU1/2 mice


Scherer, Tanja; Allegri, Gabriella; Sarkissian, Christineh N; Ying, Ming; Grisch-Chan, Hiu Man; Rassi, Anahita; Winn, Shelley R; Harding, Cary O; Martinez, Aurora; Thöny, Beat (2018). Tetrahydrobiopterin treatment reduces brain L-Phe but only partially improves serotonin in hyperphenylalaninemic ENU1/2 mice. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, 41(4):709-718.

Abstract

Hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) caused by hepatic phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) deficiency has severe consequences on brain monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism. We have studied monoamine neurotransmitter status and the effect of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH) treatment in Pah (ENU1/2) mice, a model of partial PAH deficiency. These mice exhibit elevated blood L-phenylalanine (L-Phe) concentrations similar to that of mild hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA), but brain levels of L-Phe are still ~5-fold elevated compared to wild-type. We found that brain L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, BH cofactor and catecholamine concentrations, and brain tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity were normal in these mice but that brain serotonin, 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5HIAA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) content, and brain TH protein, as well as tryptophan hydroxylase type 2 (TPH2) protein levels and activity were reduced in comparison to wild-type mice. Parenteral L-Phe loading conditions did not lead to significant changes in brain neurometabolite concentrations. Remarkably, enteral BH treatment, which normalized brain L-Phe levels in ENU1/2 mice, lead to only partial recovery of brain serotonin and 5HIAA concentrations. Furthermore, indirect evidence indicated that the GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH) feedback regulatory protein (GFRP) complex may be a sensor for brain L-Phe elevation to ameliorate the toxic effects of HPA. We conclude that BH treatment of HPA toward systemic L-Phe lowering reverses elevated brain L-Phe content but the recovery of TPH2 protein and activity as well as serotonin levels is suboptimal, indicating that patients with mild HPA and mood problems (depression or anxiety) treated with the current diet may benefit from supplementation with BH and 5-OH-tryptophan.

Abstract

Hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) caused by hepatic phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) deficiency has severe consequences on brain monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism. We have studied monoamine neurotransmitter status and the effect of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH) treatment in Pah (ENU1/2) mice, a model of partial PAH deficiency. These mice exhibit elevated blood L-phenylalanine (L-Phe) concentrations similar to that of mild hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA), but brain levels of L-Phe are still ~5-fold elevated compared to wild-type. We found that brain L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, BH cofactor and catecholamine concentrations, and brain tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity were normal in these mice but that brain serotonin, 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5HIAA) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) content, and brain TH protein, as well as tryptophan hydroxylase type 2 (TPH2) protein levels and activity were reduced in comparison to wild-type mice. Parenteral L-Phe loading conditions did not lead to significant changes in brain neurometabolite concentrations. Remarkably, enteral BH treatment, which normalized brain L-Phe levels in ENU1/2 mice, lead to only partial recovery of brain serotonin and 5HIAA concentrations. Furthermore, indirect evidence indicated that the GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH) feedback regulatory protein (GFRP) complex may be a sensor for brain L-Phe elevation to ameliorate the toxic effects of HPA. We conclude that BH treatment of HPA toward systemic L-Phe lowering reverses elevated brain L-Phe content but the recovery of TPH2 protein and activity as well as serotonin levels is suboptimal, indicating that patients with mild HPA and mood problems (depression or anxiety) treated with the current diet may benefit from supplementation with BH and 5-OH-tryptophan.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:July 2018
Deposited On:30 Jan 2019 10:28
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:17
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0141-8955
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10545-018-0150-y
PubMed ID:29520738

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