Pathological and immunological effects of ingesting L-tryptophan and 1,1'-ethylidenebis (L-tryptophan) in Lewis rats.

Love LA, Rader JI, Crofford LJ, Raybourne RB, Principato MA, Page SW, Trucksess MW, Smith MJ, Dugan EM, Turner ML
J Clin Invest. 1993 91 (3): 804-11

PMID: 8450062 · PMCID: PMC288031 · DOI:10.1172/JCI116300

The eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS) has been associated with ingestion of L-tryptophan (L-TRP) produced by a single manufacturer. Epidemiological data implicated 1,1'-ethylidenebis (L-tryptophan) (EBT) (peak 97 or peak E) as a possible etiologic agent. We showed previously that Lewis rats treated with the L-TRP implicated in EMS develop fasciitis and perimyositis similar to those seen in human EMS. We now report the pathology associated with the treatment of Lewis rats with synthetic EBT and/or L-TRP. All animals treated for 6 wk with case-associated L-TRP or EBT developed significant myofascial thickening, compared with animals in the vehicle control and control L-TRP groups. However, even those animals receiving the control L-TRP showed a mild but significant increase in the thickness of the myofascia, compared with vehicle-treated control animals. All animals except vehicle controls also exhibited significant pancreatic pathology, including fibrosis and acinar changes. Only animals treated with case-associated L-TRP for 6 wk showed evidence of immune activation with increased frequency of CD8, Ia, and IL-2 receptor-positive cells in the peripheral blood. Animals receiving L-TRP or EBT for < 6 wk did not show significant differences in myofascial thickness, although these animals did show pancreatic acinar changes. Although these results demonstrate for the first time the pathological effects of EBT, they do not rule out the possibility that other impurities in the EMS-case-associated L-TRP may also contribute to some of the features of EMS.

MeSH Terms (16)

Animals Antibodies, Monoclonal Antigens, Surface Female Immunophenotyping Inflammation Leukocyte Count Macrophages Monocytes Muscles Necrosis Pancreas Rats Rats, Inbred Lew Receptors, Interleukin-2 Tryptophan

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