Tissue and Whole Blood Concentrations of Nicotinamide Nucleotides

Measurement of liver and other tissue concentrations of NAD(P) gives a precise estimate of niacin nutritional status and seems to be the most sensitive indicator in experimental animals. Measurement of the whole blood concentration of NAD(P) may serve the samepurpose; there is a good correlation between blood and liver concentrations of nicotinamide nucleotides in experimental animals. The sensitivity of the method is such that reproducible determinations can be carried out on finger-prick samples of 200 ^L of blood (Bender etal., 1982).

Erythrocyte NAD falls during niacin depletion and rises during repletion in human subjects. Erythrocyte NADP is unaffected, and the ratio of NAD:NADP provides a useful index of niacin nutritional status, with a ratio <1.0 indicating deficiency (Fu et al., 1989).

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