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J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2009;23(1):35-9. doi: 10.1080/15360280902728161.

Agmatine levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of normal human volunteers.

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Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


Agmatine is an amine formed by the decarboxylation of l-arginine by the enzyme arginine decarboxylase. The fact that exogenous agmatine modulates morphine analgesia and dependence raises the question of whether the biosynthesis of endogenous agmatine is regulated during chronic pain. As a first step to understand the biological role of agmatine in human neurological and psychiatric conditions, this study was aimed to determine the levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) agmatine in normal individuals. The levels of agmatine in the CSF and blood were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. Samples of CSF and blood were collected from a total of 10 participants for this study. The CSF agmatine levels ranged from 24.3 to 54.0 ng/mL, whereas the plasma agmatine levels were from 8.4 to 65.1 ng/mL. The mean values with standard error for blood and CSF agmatine were 33.8 +/- 16.6 and 40.4 +/- 9.1, respectively. The statistical analysis of these 10 samples indicated no correlation between blood and CSF samples (r = .29); however, removing one outlier improved the correlation (r = .6). From this study, the authors conclude that human CSF agmatine levels can be measured by HPLC with precision and that a possible correlation exists between plasma and CSF agmatine levels. This study provides basis for future studies in human chronic pain conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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