D-aspartate in human brain uri icon

abstract

  • The presence of the biologically uncommon D-aspartic acid (D-aspartate) in human brain white matter has been previously reported. The earlier study has now been expanded to include D/L-aspartate ratios from 67 normal brains. The data show that the D-aspartate content increases rapidly from 1 year to approximately 35 years of age, levels off in middle age, and then appears to decrease somewhat. The D-aspartate content in gray matter remains at a consistently low level (half of that found in white matter) throughout the human life span. Within the limitations of current analytical methods, there was no detectable difference in D/L-aspartate ratios in white and gray matter of brains with Alzheimer's disease and several other pathologies when compared with brains of normal subjects. However, the presence of a significant D-aspartate level in white matter during the adult life span may lead to changes in protein configuration related to dysfunctions associated with the aging brain.

publication date

  • 1987