Urinary desmosine, elastolysis, and lung disease.

Metabolism : clinical and experimental

PubMedID: 1988771

Pai V, Guz A, Phillips GJ, Cooke NT, Hutchison DC, Tetley TD. Urinary desmosine, elastolysis, and lung disease. Metab Clin Exp. 1991;40(2):139-45.
Desmosine is an amino acid specific to elastin. Animal studies suggest that urinary desmosine (UD) represents endogenous elastin degradation. Therefore, UD has previously been used to investigate endogenous elastolysis, but was not elevated in subjects with chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD), although accelerated pulmonary elastolysis is thought to contribute to COAD. We have investigated whether this reflects large day-to-day and between-subject variation in UD and whether, in man, dietary desmosine contributes significantly to that in urine. Mean 24-hour UD output (over 5 consecutive days) from 10 asymptomatic subjects (5 males) was higher in males than females (77.4 +/- 9.6 and 40.2 +/- 5.0 nmol/24 hours, respectively; mean +/- SD, P less than .001), but not significantly different when expressed in terms of creatinine (micrograms desmosine/100 mg creatinine: males, 2.5 +/- 0.4; females, 3.1 +/- 0.8; mean +/- SD). The lowest between-subject variation was observed when the mean of 5 days' 24-hour UD values was analyzed on the basis of gender (coefficient of variation [CV], 12.5%); when gender was not considered, the least between-subject variation was found for the mean of 5 days' desmosine/creatinine analysis (CV, 24.5%). Approximately 1% of dietary desmosine (ingested as [3H]elastin and [3H] desmosine) was excreted in the urine within 24 hours, contributing approximately 15% of UD while on a normal diet. Although ingestion of a low elastin diet (less than 1/10 desmosine/24 hours than a normal diet) resulted in lower within-subject variation in 24-hour UD excretion (mean CV decreased from 31.5% to 20.2%), the between-subject CV and UD levels did not alter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)