, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 863-870

Platelet serotonin concentrations in PKU patients under dietary control and tetrahydrobiopterin treatment

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Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) supplementation has been applied in PKU treatment, resulting in successful control of blood phenylalanine (Phe) concentrations. We evaluated serotonin status in PKU patients under classical dietary treatment (n = 40) and in a group of 11 PKU patients under BH4 treatment, both during a 6-month period. Platelet serotonin values were significantly lower in PKU patients under dietary treatment when compared with controls. A negative correlation was observed between plasma Phe and platelet serotonin concentrations (r = −0.367, p = 0.017) in PKU patients. Platelet serotonin concentration increased significantly after both 1 and 6 months of BH4 therapy when compared with baseline conditions (Wilcoxon test: p = 0.013 and p = 0.021, respectively), while no differences were observed when comparing plasma Phe concentrations at the different points. Our results indicate that PKU patients under classical treatment have decreased platelet serotonin concentrations, probably owing to continued high Phe values, while BH4 supplementation restored platelet serotonin values.