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01.12.2017 | Regular Article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 1/2017

Alteration in plasma free amino acid levels and its association with gout

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
MH Mahbub, Natsu Yamaguchi, Hidekazu Takahashi, Ryosuke Hase, Hiroki Amano, Mikiko Kobayashi-Miura, Hideyuki Kanda, Yasuyuki Fujita, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Mai Yamamoto, Shinya Kikuchi, Atsuko Ikeda, Naoko Kageyama, Mina Nakamura, Yasutaka Ishimaru, Hiroshi Sunagawa, Tsuyoshi Tanabe



Studies on the association of plasma-free amino acids with gout are very limited and produced conflicting results. Therefore, we sought to explore and characterize the plasma-free amino acid (PFAA) profile in patients with gout and evaluate its association with the latter.


Data from a total of 819 subjects (including 34 patients with gout) undergoing an annual health examination program in Shimane, Japan were considered for this study. Venous blood samples were collected from the subjects and concentrations of 19 plasma amino acids were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry. Student’s t-test was applied for comparison of variables between patient and control groups. The relationships between the presence or absence of gout and individual amino acids were investigated by logistic regression analysis controlling for the effects of potential demographic confounders.


Among 19 amino acids, the levels of 10 amino acids (alanine, glycine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, tryptophan, valine) differed significantly (P < .001 to .05) between the patient and control groups. Univariate logistic regression analysis revealed that plasma levels of alanine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and valine had significant positive associations (P < .005 to .05) whereas glycine and serine had significant inverse association (P < .05) with gout.


The observed significant changes in PFAA profiles may have important implications for improving our understanding of pathophysiology, diagnosis and prevention of gout. The findings of this study need further confirmation in future large-scale studies involving a larger number of patients with gout.

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