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Pyridine nucleotide coenzymes are involved in >500 enzyme reactions and are biosynthesized from the amino acid L-tryptophan (L-Trp) as well as the vitamin niacin. Hence, "true" niacin-deficient animals cannot be "created" using nutritional techniques. We wanted to establish a truly niacin-deficient model animal using a protocol that did not involve manipulating dietary L-Trp. We generated mice that are missing the quinolinic acid (QA) phosphoribosyltransferase (QPRT) gene. QPRT activity was not detected in qprt(-/-)mice. The qprt(+/+), qprt(+/-), or qprt(-/-) mice (8 wk old) were fed a complete diet containing 30 mg nicotinic acid (NiA) and 2.3 g L-Trp/kg diet or an NiA-free diet containing 2.3 g L-Trp/kg diet for 23 d. When qprt(-/-)mice were fed a complete diet, food intake and body weight gain did not differ from those of the qprt(+/+) and qprt(+/-) mice. On the contrary, in the qprt(-/-) mice fed the NiA-free diet, food intake and body weight were reduced to 60% (P < 0.01) and 70% (P < 0.05) of the corresponding values for the qprt(-/-) mice fed the complete diet at d 23, respectively. The nutritional levels of niacin, such as blood and liver NAD concentrations, were also lower in the qprt(-/-) mice than in the qprt(+/+) and the qprt(+/-) mice. Urinary excretion of QA was greater in the qprt(-/-) mice than in the qprt(+/+) and qprt(+/-) mice (P < 0.01). These data suggest that we generated truly niacin-deficient mice.

Citation

Miki Terakata, Tsutomu Fukuwatari, Mitsue Sano, Natsuki Nakao, Ryuzo Sasaki, Shin-Ichi Fukuoka, Katsumi Shibata. Establishment of true niacin deficiency in quinolinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase knockout mice. The Journal of nutrition. 2012 Dec;142(12):2148-53

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PMID: 23096007

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