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

Effect of hyperphenylalaninaemia on lipid synthesis from ketone bodies by rat brain.

The effect of hyperphenylalaninaemia on the metabolism of ketone bodies in vivo and in vitro by developing rat brain was investigated. The incorporation in vivo of [14C]acetoacetate into cerebral lipids was decreased by both chronic (for 3 days) and acute (for 6h) hyperphenylalaninaemia induced by injecting phenylalanine into 1-week-old rats. In studies in vitro it was observed that the incorporation of the radioactivity from [14C]acetoacetate and 3-hydroxy[14C]butyrate into cerebral lipids was inhibited by phenyl-pyruvate, but not by phenylalanine. Phenylpyruvate also inhibited the incorporation of 3H from 3H2O into lipids by brain slices metabolizing either 3-hydroxybutyrate or acetoacetate in the presence of glucose. These findings suggest that the decrease in the incorporation in vivo of [14C]acetoacetate into cerebral lipids in hyperphenylalaninaemic rats is most likely caused by phenylpyruvate and not by phenylalanine. Phenylpyruvate as well as phenylalanine had no inhibitory effects on ketone-body-catabolizing enzymes, namely 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, 3-oxo acid CoA-transferase and acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase, in rat brain. Phenylpyruvate but not phenylalanine inhibited the activity of the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex from rat and human brain. These findings suggest that the metabolism of ketone bodies is impaired in brains of untreated phenylketonuric patients, and in turn may contribute to the diminution of mental development and function associated with phenylketonuria.[1]


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