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Scientific Reports




Huntington's disease (HD) is increasingly recognized for diverse pathology outside of the nervous system. To describe the biology of HD in relation to functional progression, we previously analyzed the plasma and CSF metabolome in a cross-sectional study of participants who had various degrees of functional impairment. Here, we carried out an exploratory study in plasma from HD individuals over a 3-year time frame to assess whether differences exist between those with fast or absent clinical progression. There were more differences in circulating metabolite levels for fast progressors compared to absent progressors (111 vs 20, nominal p < 0.05). All metabolite changes in faster progressors were decreases, whereas some metabolite concentrations increased in absent progressors. Many of the metabolite levels that decreased in the fast progressors were higher at Screening compared to absent progressors but ended up lower by Year 3. Changes in faster progression suggest greater oxidative stress and inflammation (kynurenine, diacylglycerides, cysteine), disturbances in nitric oxide and urea metabolism (arginine, citrulline, ornithine, GABR), lower polyamines (putrescine and spermine), elevated glucose, and deficient AMPK signaling. Metabolomic differences between fast and absent progressors suggest the possibility of predicting functional decline in HD, and possibly delaying it with interventions to augment arginine, polyamines, and glucose regulation.


Copyright 2024 The Authors. Published by Springer Nature.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.