TIncrease in Oxidized NO Products and Reduction in Oxidized Glutathione in Cerebrospinal Fluid From Patients With Sporadic Form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

To determine the role of free radical mechanisms in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of oxidized nitric oxide (NO) products (nitrite and nitrate) and reduced and oxidized forms of glutathione (GSH and GSSG, respectively) were compared between patients with the sporadic form of ALS (SALS) and controls. In the SALS patients, the nitrate levels were significantly higher (by 73%) in contrast to remarkably lower GSSG/GSH ratio, approximately 3- fold, compared to controls. These results suggest that NO production or oxidation is activated in SALS patients, leading to a decrease in superoxide radicals to oxidize GSH. The subsequent generation of a highly reactive anion, peroxynitrite, may play a causal role in the pathogenesis of SALS.