Infantile dilated cardiomyopathy in Portuguese water dogs: Correlation of the autosomal recessive trait with low plasma taurine at infancy
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Infantile dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) in Portuguese water dogs (PWD) involves an autosomal recessive trait. Based on our previous studies we have tested the hypothesis that this disorder may be correlated with taurine deficiency. The plasma taurine levels of 249 puppies from 36 litters obtained from breeders at six and nine weeks of age, an early stage when usually the clinical symptoms are not manifested, were analyzed. Additional samples were collected from sixteen puppies that we raised from four litters. These litters were born to a dam that had low plasma taurine as a puppy and two known carrier sires. From the random samples obtained from the breeders, forty-eight pups from fourteen litters and twenty-nine pups from seven litters had low plasma taurine at least at one and at two time points, respectively. Also several puppies showing low plasma taurine died due to IDCM. Furthermore, from the sixteen pups we raised, fifteen had at least low taurine level at one and seven had at two time points. Considered together, these results strongly support the view that IDCM in PWD is associated with abnormal taurine metabolism that leads to low plasma taurine at early stages before the clinical symptoms appear.
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