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|Molar mass||253.215 g/mol|
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)|
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Neopterin belongs to the chemical group known as pteridines. It is synthesised by human macrophages upon stimulation with the cytokine interferon-gamma and is indicative of a pro-inflammatory immune status. Neopterin serves as a marker of cellular immune system activation.
Neopterin as disease marker
Measurement of neopterin concentrations in body fluids like blood serum, cerebrospinal fluid or urine provides information about activation of cellular immune activation in humans under the control of T helper cells type 1. High neopterin production is associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species, neopterin concentrations also allow to estimate the extent of oxidative stress elicited by the immune system.
Increased neopterin production is found in, but not limited to, the following diseases:
- bacterial infections by intracellular living bacteria such as Borrelia (Lyme Disease) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- malignant tumor diseases
- allograft rejection episodes.
- depression and somatization.
Neopterin concentrations usually correlate with the extent and activity of the disease, and are also useful to monitor during therapy in these patients. Elevated neopterin concentrations are among the best predictors of adverse outcome in patients with HIV infection, in cardiovascular disease and in various types of cancer.
In the laboratory it is measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA), ELISA, or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). It has a native fluorescence of wavelength excitation at 353 nm and emission at 438 nm, rendering it readily detected.
Murr C, et al. Neopterin as a marker for immune system activation. Curr Drug Metabol 2002;3:175-187. Fuchs D, et al. The role of neopterin in atherogenesis and cardiovascular risk stratification. Curr Med Chem 2009;16:4644-4653. Sucher R, et al. Neopterin, a prognostic marker in human malignancies. Cancer Lett 2010;287:13-22.
- Determination of neopterin and biopterin by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in rat and human plasma, cell extracts and tissue homogenates (a protocol)
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