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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Jul;88(1):47-50.

Decreased plasma tryptophan in pregnancy.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine levels of serum tryptophan and its degradation product kynurenine in uncomplicated pregnancy, according to the week of pregnancy and the concentrations of neopterin.

METHODS:

Plasma was analyzed from 45 healthy pregnant women (15 in each trimester), 15 healthy puerperas, and 20 nonpregnant controls. Tryptophan and kynurenine were measured by reverse-phase, high-performance liquid chromatography, and neopterin by radioimmunoassay.

RESULTS:

In healthy pregnant women, tryptophan values decreased (median first trimester: 72 mumol/L; second trimester: 51 mumol/L; third trimester: 46 mumol/L; P < .001) in a manner correlated with the duration of pregnancy (Spearman rank correlation coefficient ra = -0.771, P < .001) and normalized in the puerperium (median 60 mumol/L). No change in kynurenine, a tryptophan degradation product, was observed, but the ratio of kynurenine to tryptophan increased during pregnancy and correlated positively with gestational age (ra = 0.714, P < .001). In addition, an inverse correlation existed between neopterin and tryptophan concentrations (ra = -0.566, P < .001), as well as a positive one between neopterin and the kynurenine to tryptophan ratio (ra = 0.660, P < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Tryptophan levels decrease during normal pregnancy and the decrease may be related to immune activation phenomena.

PMID:
8684760
DOI:
10.1016/0029-7844(96)00084-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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