Impacts of age on plasma monoamine metabolite concentrations in a large cohort of healthy individuals
The measurement of plasma concentrations of monoamine metabolites is a useful method for inferring the dynamics of monoamine metabolites in the brain. To clarify effects of age and sex on plasma monoamine metabolites levels, we used high-performance liquid chromatography to measure plasma levels of homovanillic acid (HVA), free and total 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in healthy men and women of various ages (n=214). In all plasma monoamine metabolites, there were significant differences across the age groups, and multiple comparisons revealed that older subjects had higher levels than younger subjects. Moreover, significant positive correlations were found between age and plasma levels of HVA, free MHPG, total MHPG, and 5-HIAA. On the other hand, plasma concentrations of monoamine metabolites were not influenced by sex, except for total MHPG for which the plasma levels were significantly higher in men than in women. Age-related changes in monoamine oxidase and renal function might affect our results. This large cohort survey provides further evidence to be cautiously aware of age effects when regarding plasma monoamine metabolites levels as reflections of central activity. (c) 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.