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Eur J Pediatr. 1997 Aug;156 Suppl 1:S2-8.

Stable isotopes in biosciences, their measurement and models for amino acid metabolism.

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Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


In order to follow the movement and quantify the metabolic fates of biologically important molecules in vivo, both tracers and kinetic modeling are required. For the study of intermediary metabolism in children, stable isotopically labeled substrates satisfy both the analytical and ethical requirements for tracer use in children. Stable isotope tracers have been proven safe over more than a half-century of use in humans. In addition, mass spectrometric analysis of stable nuclide molecular position and isotopic enrichment in biological molecules is both highly specific and extraordinarily precise. Using stable isotope data to develop models of biological system dynamics in vivo is an essential element of estimating substrate events that take place in cells or organs otherwise inaccessible for ethical sampling in children. Further, modeling is also a critical component in the development and the testing of hypotheses about the structure of the biological system in question and the mechanisms which control its operational parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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