We have monitored two successive pregnancies in a family which we found to be at risk for argininosuccinic aciduria. We measured argininosuccinic acid (ASA) concentrations in amniotic fluid and utilized an indirect assay of ASA lyase activity in cultured amniotic fluid cells. The assay procedure is based on the uptake of 14C from [ 14C]citrulline and of [ 3H]leucine into protein. ASA was easily measured in amniotic fluid from the first fetus at risk, whereas none was detectable in control fluids. Amniotic fluid cells cultured from this fetus had only 5.5% of control ASA lyase activity. The pregnancy was terminated, and hepatic ASA lyase activity in the fetus was shown to be about 1.3% of control values. In addition, eight fetal tissues were analyzed for ASA, and all had significant accumulation. ASA was not detected in amniotic fluid from the second fetus at risk, and ASA lyase activity in cultured cells was 80% of control activity. Enzymatic analysis of erythrocyte lysate confirmed the diagnosis of an unaffected child (ASA lyase = 46% of control) and indicated heterozygosity. Thus, we provide further evidence that argininosuccinic aciduria can be diagnosed successfully in utero by indirect assay of ASA lyase activity in cultured amniotic fluid cells. In addition, high amniotic fluid ASA concentrations provide strong adjunctive evidence for such a prenatal determination, and may prove to be sufficient for diagnosis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||American Journal of Human Genetics|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1979|
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