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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Clinical role of pteridine therapy in tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency.

In most patients with deficiency of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) continuous administration of BH4 or of a synthetic analogue such as 6-methyltetrahydropterin (6-MPH4) lowers plasma phenylalanine concentrations to the therapeutic range. The effective dose of BH4 varies from 1 to 2 mg kg-1 daily in patients with defective biopterin synthesis, to 5 mg kg-1 or more in patients with dihydropteridine reductase (DHPR) deficiency. The cost of 2 mg kg-1 day-1 of BH4 is comparable to the cost of a low phenylalanine diet. Higher doses of pterins given orally (20 mg kg-1) raise the levels of tetrahydropterin in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to normal in patients with defective biopterin synthesis in whom initial concentration of biopterin species are low. In some, but not all, such patients pterin therapy also raises CSF amine metabolite concentrations and ameliorates symptoms. High dose therapy does not appear to be effective in raising CSF pterin levels in patients with DHPR deficiency who already accumulate dihydrobiopterin (BH2) in CSF. Central folate deficiency is an additional cause of neurological deterioration in patients with DHPR deficiency who require supplementation with folate as folinic acid. It is suggested that the accumulation of BH2 in such patients competitively interferes with folate metabolism.[1]


  1. Clinical role of pteridine therapy in tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency. Smith, I., Hyland, K., Kendall, B. J. Inherit. Metab. Dis. (1985) [Pubmed]
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