Document Detail

Brain glutathione as a target for aetiological factors in neurolathyrism and konzo.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20816718     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Both neurolathyrism and konzo are associated with the nutritional dependence of human populations on a single plant food. These diseases express themselves as chronic disorders of upper motor neurones, leading to signs and symptoms that characterise amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (motor neurone disease). The plant food associated with neurolathyrism is grass pea, which contains the neurotoxic β-N-oxalyl-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP). The plant food associated with konzo is cassava, which may contain significant concentrations of cyanogenic glycosides and their degradation products. A monotonous diet of grass pea is likely to generate nutritional deficiencies; it is proposed that one of these, plasma methionine deficiency, may predispose neurones to the neurotoxic effects of β-ODAP. Subjects suffering from konzo also have low concentrations of plasma methionine as a result of a dietary deficiency of this amino acid. However, the plasma cystine concentration is also compromised because cyanide released from cyanogenic glycosides in cassava probably reacts with plasma cystine non-enzymatically. The product of this reaction is 2-imino-4-thiazolidine carboxylic acid. Since both plasma methionine and cystine are used for glutathione synthesis it seems likely that one common feature that leads to motor neurone death in neurolathyrism and konzo is the depletion of glutathione in the central nervous system.
Peter B Nunn; James R A Lyddiard; K P W Christopher Perera
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-09-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association     Volume:  49     ISSN:  1873-6351     ISO Abbreviation:  Food Chem. Toxicol.     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-08     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8207483     Medline TA:  Food Chem Toxicol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  662-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, UK.
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