Neurochemical research

Inhibition of brain and liver 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase and mevalonate-5-pyrophosphate decarboxylase in experimental hyperphenylalaninemia.

PMID 3405380


Experimental hyperphenylalaninemia has been induced in 5-day-old chicks by dietary treatments with phenylalanine and alpha-methylphenylalanine. An increase of nearly 8-fold in plasma Phe/Tyr ratio was found after 4 days of supplementation the standard diet with 5% phenylalanine plus 0.4% alpha-methylphenylalanine. The increase in this ratio was about 13-fold after 9 days of the same treatment. Similar results were observed in brain and liver, although the increases were smaller than those found in plasma. Total body, brain and liver weight decreased after 9 days of treatment. Phenylalanine plus alpha-methylphenylalanine administration to 5-day-old chicks produced a significant decrease in the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase and mevalonate-5-pyrophosphate decarboxylase specific activities from both brain and liver. These results demonstrated for the first time that experimental hyperphenylalaninemia inhibited different enzyme activities directly implicated in the regulation of cholesterogenesis. Therefore, a reduced cholesterol synthesis in brain may evidenciate the theory of an impaired myelination leading to mental retardation in phenylketonuria patients.