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

Multicompartmental analysis of amino acids. III. Tyrosine in affective disorder.

Multicompartmental studies of tyrosine in patients suffering from affective disorders and controls gave estimates of 2 major pools of amino acid, together with the associated fractional clearance rates and fluxes. The 2 pools were considered provisionally to represent extracellular and intracellular tyrosine. The concentration of tyrosine in plasma (representing the extracellular pool) and fractional clearance rates from this compartment were normal in ill and recovered patients. The observed abnormalities were confined to the intracellular compartment and consisted of low concentrations of tyrosine in both depressed and recovered patients. In addition, fractional clearance rates from the intracellular compartment were raised in the depressed patients but had returned to normal after recovery. A comparison of these data with those of a similar study of tryptophan described previously suggested that alterations in compartmental volume or dietary differences could not explain the 2 sets of findings. The disturbances in tryptophan metabolism in unipolar affective disorder had led to reduced amounts of this amino acid in the extracellular space. In contrast, the concentration of tyrosine in this compartment was normal, presumably as a result of a metabolic adjustment to the lower amounts found in the intracellular pool. The presence of illness-dependent and illness-independent alterations in tyrosine metabolism in unipolar affective disorder, together with the earlier findings for tryptophan, may have a bearing on the aetiology of the illness.[1]


  1. Multicompartmental analysis of amino acids. III. Tyrosine in affective disorder. Shaw, D.M., Tidmarsh, S.F., Johnson, A.L., Michalakeas, A.C., Riley, G.J., Blazek, R., MacSweeney, D.A., Francis, A.F., Hewland, R. Psychological medicine. (1979) [Pubmed]
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