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Decreased serum tryptophan in patients with HIV-1 infection correlates with increased serum neopterin and with neurologic/psychiatric symptoms.

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Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


We investigated serum neopterin, tryptophan, and kynurenine concentrations in 23 HIV-1 seropositive patients (Walter Reed Stage 4-6). Ten patients presented with polyneuropathy and three with dementia, one of the patients with dementia also had polyneuropathy and dementia. We found significant associations between lower trytophan concentrations and neurologic/psychiatric symptoms. The negative correlation of tryptophan with kynurenine and neopterin concentrations indicates activity of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in patients. IDO can be induced by cytokines such as interferon-gamma and therefore low tryptophan levels may result from chronic immune stimulation in HIV-1 seropositives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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