Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Alterations in the reduced pteridine contents in the cerebrospinal fluids of LRRK2 mutation carriers and patients with Parkinson’s disease

  • Hiroshi IchinoseEmail author
  • Ken-ichi Inoue
  • Shinobu Arakawa
  • Yuki Watanabe
  • Hiroki Kurosaki
  • Shoko Koshiba
  • Eldbjorg Hustad
  • Masahiko Takada
  • Jan O. Aasly
Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Original Article


Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is a cofactor for tyrosine hydroxylase that is essential for the biosynthesis of dopamine. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, and biomarkers reflecting the degree of neurodegeneration are important not only for basic research but also for clinical diagnosis and the treatment of the disease. Although the total neopterin and biopterin levels in the cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) of the patients with PD were reported, alterations in the composition of reduced and oxidized forms of pteridine compounds have not been examined. In this study, we first examined the time-dependent alterations in BH4 and other reduced pteridine compounds in the CSF of an MPTP-treated monkey as a primate PD model. We found that the CSF levels of BH4 and dihydroneopterin, an intermittent metabolite of BH4-biosynthesis, altered inversely with progression of neurodegeneration, whereas those of dihydrobiopterin and neopterin were relatively low and constant. Next, we assayed the amounts of reduced pteridine compounds in the CSF of 36 pre-symptomatic LRRK2-mutation (N1437H or G2019S) carriers (LRRK2-carrier), 13 patients with PD symptoms (LRRK2-PD), 46 patients with sporadic PD (sPD), and 26 non-PD individuals. The BH4 levels were significantly lower in both the LRRK2-PD and sPD patients, and the LRRK2-carriers exhibited higher BH4 levels compared with the sPD patients. The total neopterin levels in the CSF of the LRRK2-PD were significantly higher than those in the sPD and non-PD individuals, which indicated greater inflammatory responses in the brains of LRRK2-PD patients. The present results suggest that detailed analyses of pteridine levels in the CSF might be useful for understanding the pathophysiology of familial PD and for monitoring PD progression.


LRRK2 Neopterin PARK8 Parkinson’s disease Tetrahydrobiopterin 



This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Adaptive circuit shift) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (15H01422); and by grants from the Health and Labor Sciences Research Grant for Research on Intractable Disease from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan (H22-nanchi-ippan-123, H23-nanchi-ippan-096).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life Science and TechnologyTokyo Institute of TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Systems Neuroscience Section, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, St. Olavs HospitalNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  4. 4.Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of MedicineNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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