Mental retardation is the most common feature among inborn errors of amino acid metabolism. Patients with homocystinuria/homocysteinemia caused by cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) deficiency suffer from thromboembolism and mental retardation from early ages; therefore, detection by newborn screening is performed. Furthermore, elevated levels of serum homocysteine during pregnancy are associated with the occurrence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in newborns. However, the causes of such central nervous system (CNS) defects are unknown. We found previously impaired learning abilities in Cbs-deficient (Cbs-/-) mice (but not NTD births). Here, we investigated the amino acid profiles of serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from Cbs-/- mice. Mice deficient in cystathionine γ-lyase (Cth), a downstream enzyme of CBS in transsulfuration, as well as wild-type mice, were analyzed as controls. Cbs-/- and Cth-/- mice were smaller than wild-type mice, and CSF yields in Cbs-/- mice were lower than the others. CSF amino acid levels were generally lower than those in serum, and compared with the dramatic amino acid level alterations in Cbs-/- mouse serum, alterations in CSF were less apparent. However, marked upregulation (versus wild-type) of aspartic acid/asparagine (Asp/Asn), glutamine (Gln), serine (Ser), threonine (Thr), phenylalanine (Phe), tyrosine (Tyr), methionine (Met), total homocysteine, and citrulline, and downregulation of lysine (Lys) were found in Cbs-/- mouse CSF. Because similar regulation of total homocysteine/citrulline/Lys was observed in the CSF of Cth-/- mice, which are free of CNS dysfunction, the reduced CSF volumes and the level changes of other amino acids could be relevant to Cbs-/--specific CNS defects.
Biol. Pharm. Bull. (Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin)
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