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Keywords:

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
  • collagen;
  • glycoside;
  • hydroxylysine;
  • urine

Abstract

Collagen abnormalities of the spinal cord and the skin have been reported in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The urinary concentrations of the hydroxylysine glycosides, i.e., glucosylgalactosyl hydroxylysine (glu-gal Hyl) and galactosyl hydroxylysine (gal Hyl), indicate the tissue origin of the collagen metabolites and the rate of the degradation of collagen. We measured the urinary levels of glu-gal Hyl and gal Hyl in 12 ALS patients, 10 diseased control subjects with other neurologic or muscular diseases (Control Group A), and 10 healthy control subjects (Control Group B). The urinary level of glu-gal Hyl in ALS patients was significantly lower than in the two control groups. In addition, a significant negative relationship between glu-gal Hyl urinary level and duration of illness was found in ALS patients. There was no marked difference in the urinary level of gal Hyl between ALS patients and the control groups. Our data suggest that the decreased urinary level of glu-gal Hyl may be useful in assessing the alteration in collagen metabolism in ALS and may have a relationship with the progression of ALS. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Muscle Nerve 24: 821–825, 2001