L-glutamate, L-arginine and L-citrulline levels in cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson's disease, multiple system atrophy, and Alzheimer's disease patients

M. A. Kuiper, T. Teerlink, J. J. Visser, P. L.M. Bergmans, P. Scheltens, E. Ch Wolters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Alterations in neuronal nitric oxide (NO) production may play a role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) Alzheimer's disease (AD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA). The biosynthesis of NO is dependent on the availability of L-arginine, the substrate for NO-synthase (NOS), and on L-glutamate, which stimulates NO synthesis via the NMDA receptor. In this process L-citrulline is formed. We measured the levels of these amino acids in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 108 PD patients, 12 AD patients, 15 MSA patients and 21 healthy subjects. A slight but statistically significant elevation of CSF L-citrulline was found in MSA patients, while CSF L-glutamate was found to be significantly decreased in AD patients. We found no significant changes in L-arginine levels. Although the relation between the CSF levels of these amino acids and neuronal NO production is still unclear, our findings suggest that AD is associated with a decrease in NO synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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