Huntington’ disease – imbalance of amino acid levels in plasma of patients and mutation carriers

Beata Gruber 1,  
Department of Biochemistry and Biopharmaceuticals, National Medicines Institute, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Social Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2013;20(4):779–783
Determination of the plasma amino acid (AA) levels in Huntington’s disease (HD) can make it possible to find the metabolic markers used in early diagnosis. The aim of the presented study was to determine the AA profile in plasma samples from HD patients and presymptomatic carriers, compared to healthy subjects. The AA profile was analyzed with HPLC. The study concerned 59 participants: 30 subjects with abnormal CAG repeats expansion (>36) in the HTT gene, and 29 healthy subjects. Each participant was analyzed with regard to the parameters characterizing the metabolic state and protein metabolism, such as: urea, creatinine, glucose, total protein, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), cortisol, ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), and CRP (C-reactive protein). Simple statistical comparisons showed 5 AA to be significantly lower in the HD group, compared to the control group, i.e.: Asn, His, Leu, Ser, Thr. Creatinine and creatinine clirens were found to be lower in the HD group, compared to controls, while ESR was noticed to be higher. As a result of Canonical Discriminant Analysis, 5 of all AA assayed (Leu, Gln, Asn, Ser and Lys) were selected as variables that allow distinguishing between HD patients and healthy subjects with 75% of correctness. Concerning AA profile and biochemical markers, Canonical Discriminant Analysis detected a panel of variables (Ser, Asn, Gln, Orn, Pro, Arg, Met, Cit, Val, TSH, glucose, urea, creatinine clirens, total protein, cortisol, CRP) distinguishing HD from the control group, with 90% of correctness. Among all the parameters tested, Asn and Ser were revealed in all statistical analyses and could be considered as potential plasma HD biomarkers.