Neopterin measurements are especially useful as an early marker in (e.g.) allograft rejections and in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). An increased concentration of total neopterins (neopterin + dihydroneopterin) is also a significant marker in patients with HIV-1 infection. In this study we compared concentrations of neopterin and total neopterins in urine samples from 77 homosexual men with and 73 without established HIV-1 infection. HIV- 1-seropositive homosexual men had higher concentrations of neopterin and total neopterins (and 7,8-dihydroneopterin) in their urine than did those who were HIV-1-seronegative, and there was a close correlation between neopterin and total neopterins. Both neopterin variables correlated inversely with CD4 + T-cell counts and CD4 +/CD8 + T-cell ratios but not with CD8+ T-cell counts in the HIV-1-seropositive men. Our data indicate that measurements of neopterin and total neopterins are of almost equal potential for clinical diagnosis. However, when measuring total neopterins, which includes oxidation of 7,8- dihydroneopterin to neopterin, more strict requirements of sample collection and handling are necessary to avoid degradation of the 7,8- dihydro derivative.
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