Neurochemical research

Effect of experimental hyperphenylalaninemia induced by dietary phenylalanine plus alpha-methylphenylalanine administration on amino acid concentration in neonatal chick brain, plasma, and liver.

PMID 3405379


Supplementation of 5% phenylalanine plus 0.4% alpha-methylphenylalanine to the standard diet or 1% phenylalanine plus 0.08% alpha-methylphenylalanine to the drinking water produced phenylketonuria-like conditions in 5-day-old chicks. An increase of 10 to 15-fold in the phenylalanine content was observed in plasma or brain of animals after 9 days of both types of treatment. A smaller but significant increase was also observed in liver. However, practically no changes were found in the levels of tyrosine in the same conditions. Thus, the high values of plasma and brain phenylalanine/tyrosine ratio obtained by these treatments were mainly due to an increase in the phenylalanine levels, without increasing those of tyrosine. Chronic hyperphenylalaninemia induced a nonsignificant decrease in the most of amino acid contents in brain, especially after 9 days of treatment, although the levels of glycine and serine were significantly increased. A similar decrease was found in the plasma and liver concentration of various amino acids, although the variations observed in the liver were smaller than those found in plasma and brain.