J Neural Transm Gen Sect
The influence of the co-factor pyridoxine, vitamin B6, on the activity of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase enzyme was studied by positron emission tomography, PET in the brain of the Rhesus monkey using the precursor for serotonin synthesis 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP) radiolabelled with 11C in the beta-position. The rate constant for the formation of serotonin in the corpus striatum was calculated using a two tissue compartment model with reference area in the brain. In baseline investigations, the mean rate constants (+/-S.D:) for selective utilization of [11C]5-HTP to form [11C]serotonin in the corpus striatum was 0.0080 +/- 0.0011 min(-1). Pretreatment with intravenous pyridoxine hydrochloride 10 mg/kg bodyweight before doing a second PET study resulted in an enhanced rate constant by a mean of 20%. The rate increase was statistically significant. The increase varied considerably in different monkeys from no effect to more than 60%. The effect of pyridoxine on aromatic amino acid decarboxylase activity supported a regulatory role of pyridoxine on the synthesis of neurotransmitter in vivo, and may be of importance in diseases with deficiencies in neurotransmitter function.