The levels of neopterin, biopterin and the neopterin/biopterin ratio (N/B) were measured in urine samples taken from normal young and elderly control subjects, exceptionally healthy elderly control subjects classified according to the ‘Senieur’ protocol and patients with Down’s syndrome (DS) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The N/B ratio was approximately unity in control groups with the exception of the normal elderly controls. The levels of neopterin and biopterin declined with age in the exceptionally healthy ‘Senieur’ control group. The N/B ratio was elevated in young and old DS patients as a result of the significant increase in neopterin. Neopterin levels were significantly elevated in AD patients compared with the healthy elderly controls, but this did not result in a significant increase in the N/B ratio in these patients. The N/B ratio increased with age in AD patients as a result of a decline in biopterin. These results suggested that there is a cellular immune reponse in DS and AD patients which in DS, may precede the formation of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain. In addition, there may be a deficiency in tetrahydrobiopterin biosynthesis in AD which becomes more marked with age.
- Neopterin/Biopterin ratio
- control subjects
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Down’s syndrome
Blair, J. A., Winsper, S. J., Cattell, R. J., & Armstrong, R. A. (1995). The levels of neopterin, biopterin and the neopterin/biopterin ratio in urine from control subjects and patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s syndrome. Pteridines, 6(4), 185-189. https://doi.org/10.1515/pteridines.19126.96.36.199