The Benefit of Large Neutral Amino Acid Supplementation to a Liberalized Phenylalanine-Restricted Diet in Adult Phenylketonuria Patients: Evidence from Adult Pah-Enu2 Mice
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Many phenylketonuria (PKU) patients cannot adhere to the severe dietary restrictions as advised by the European PKU guidelines, which can be accompanied by aggravated neuropsychological impairments that, at least in part, have been attributed to brain monoaminergic neurotransmitter deficiencies. Supplementation of large neutral amino acids (LNAA) to an unrestricted diet has previously been shown to effectively improve brain monoamines in PKU mice of various ages. To determine the additive value of LNAA supplementation to a liberalized phenylalanine-restricted diet, brain and plasma monoamine and amino acid concentrations in 10 to 16-month-old adult C57Bl/6 PKU mice on a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet with LNAA supplementation were compared to those on a non-supplemented severe or less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet. LNAA supplementation to a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet was found to improve both brain monoamine and phenylalanine concentrations. Compared to a severe phenylalanine-restricted diet, it was equally effective to restore brain norepinephrine and serotonin even though being less effective to reduce brain phenylalanine concentrations. These results in adult PKU mice support the idea that LNAA supplementation may enhance the effect of a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet and suggest that cerebral outcome of PKU patients treated with a less severe phenylalanine-restricted diet may be helped by additional LNAA treatment.