Skip Navigation LinksHome > February 2014 - Volume 73 - Issue 2 > Serotonin Metabolites in the Cerebrospinal Fluid in Sudden I...
Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology:
doi: 10.1097/NEN.0000000000000034
Original Articles

Serotonin Metabolites in the Cerebrospinal Fluid in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Rognum, Ingvar J. MD; Tran, Hoa PhD; Haas, Elisabeth A.; Hyland, Keith PhD; Paterson, David S. PhD; Haynes, Robin L. PhD; Broadbelt, Kevin G. PhD; Harty, Brian J. MA; Mena, Othon MD; Krous, Henry F. MD; Kinney, Hannah C. MD

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Abstract

Forensic biomarkers are needed in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) to help identify this group among other sudden unexpected deaths in infancy. Previously, we reported multiple serotonergic (5-HT) abnormalities in nuclei of the medulla oblongata that help mediate protective responses to homeostatic stressors. As a first step toward their assessment as forensic biomarkers of medullary pathology, here we test the hypothesis that 5-HT–related measures are abnormal in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of SIDS infants compared with those of autopsy controls. Levels of CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and homovanillic acid (HVA), the degradative products of 5-HT and dopamine, respectively, were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in 52 SIDS and 29 non-SIDS autopsy cases. Tryptophan (Trp) and tyrosine (Tyr), the substrates of 5-HT and dopamine, respectively, were also measured. There were no significant differences in 5-HIAA, Trp, HVA, or Tyr levels between the SIDS and non-SIDS groups. These data preclude the use of 5-HIAA, HVA, Trp, or Tyr measurements as CSF autopsy biomarkers of 5-HT medullary pathology in infants who have died suddenly and unexpectedly. They do, however, provide important information about monoaminergic measurements in human CSF at autopsy and their developmental profile in infancy that is applicable to multiple pediatric disorders beyond SIDS.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc.

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