Ramdath, D.Dan; Golden, Michael H.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Metabolism Research Unit
Glyoxalase I activity in erythrocytes from severely malnourished children
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The enzyme glyoxalase I (Glyox I) is involved in metabolic detoxification, and requires glutathione (GSH) as a cofactor. Given the low concentration of whole blood GSH in children with oedematous malnutrition, it is possible that the function of this pathway may be compromised in these children. Glyox I activity was therefore assayed in erythrocytes taken from 133 severely malnourished children and 21 age-matched controls. The mean values (+/- SEM) for the marasmic group (Marasmus: 105 +/- 4/u/gm Hb) and the group with kwashiorkor (Kwash: 103 +/- 4/u/gm Hb) were not significantly different from controls (Cont: 104 +/- 2 u/gm Hb). In the group with marasmic-kwashiorkor (M-K: 88 +/- 4 u/g Hb) Glyox I activity was significantly lower than in controls (p < 0.005), as well as in children with Marasmus (p < 0.005), and kwashiorkor (p < 0.05). Enzyme activity was lower than normal in 45% of the MK group. Seven children died subsequent to admission; in five cases Glyox I activities were exceedingly low. There was a weak positive correlation between Glyox I activity and whole blood levels of GSH (r = 0.215). Concludes that Glyox I activity is relatively unaffected in malnutrition, except in those with M-K and especially those who do not survive the acutely malnourished state....