Uridine Diphosphate Hexoses in Leukocytes and Fibroblasts of Classic Galactosemics and Patients with Other Metabolic Diseases

Article metrics


ABSTRACT: To examine uridine diphosphate hexose (UDPhexose) content of cells that have more complete metabolic patterns than erythrocytes, which have been commonly used in the study of galactosemia, the concentrations of uridine diphosphate galactose (UDPgalactose) and uridine diphosphate glucose (UDPglucose) were determined in white blood cells (WBC) and fibroblasts cultured from skin biopsies. Leukocyte UDPgalactose and UDPglucose values were determined in 60 normal individuals, 14 classic gamactosemics, and 18 patients with other metabolic diseases on protein-restricted and low-lactose diets. There was no difference in the average concentration of these compounds between any of these groups. There was no relationship between age and WBC UDPhexose content or correlation of WBC and erythrocyte UDPhexose levels in the same blood specimens. WBC from galactosemic individuals differ from their red blood cells because the former do not show the low average UDPgalactose levels and abnormal UDPglucose to UDPgalactose ratio previously reported for erythrocytes from galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase-deficient individuals. Fibroblast cell lines from 10 normal and 10 galactosemic individuals, cultured and grown to confluence in glucose medium, also showed no difference in nucleotide sugar concentrations. Thus far, of the cell types easily available, red blood cells appear to be unique in showing an abnormality in nucleotide sugar metabolism. The fact that galactosemic fibroblasts demonstrate no abnormality in the concentration of these compounds suggests that the defective galactosylation that has been observed in galactosemic fibroblasts is not due to unavailability of UDPgalactose.

Author information

Correspondence to James B Gibson.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading