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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Jul;218(3):229-33.

Circadian variation of urinary excretion of elastin and collagen crosslinks.

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The Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


Urinary levels of collagen- and elastin-crosslink amino acids have been used as biologic markers for degradation of collagen and elastin in the body. Circadian variation of collagen-crosslink amino acids is well known. The current study was undertaken to determine whether there is also circadian variation in excretion of elastin-crosslink amino acids. We used an isotope dilution-HPLC assay to measure the elastin-crosslink amino acids, desmosine (DES) and isodesmosine (IDES), and the collagen-crosslink amino acids, hydroxylysyl pyridinoline (HP) and lysyl pyridinoline (LP), in urine. Sixteen apparently healthy subjects collected urine from 5:00 to 7:00 AM, and from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Mean urinary excretion of DES and IDES in women was 56% and 41% higher (P < 0.001), respectively, in AM versus PM specimens when normalized by the creatinine content of the urine specimen. For men, the corresponding values were 11% and 13% higher (not statistically significant). Mean urinary excretion of HP and LP in women was 61% and 71% higher (P < 0.001), respectively, in AM versus PM specimens. For men, the corresponding values were 11% and 19% higher (not statistically significant). Differences were not found in the AM versus PM rates of excretion of creatinine in men or women. These findings demonstrate the occurrence of circadian variation in HP, LP, DES and IDES in women but not in men. We conclude that the time of collection of urine specimens, especially from women, must be taken into consideration in using the urinary levels of these crosslink amino acids as biologic markers for collagen or elastin degradation.

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