To establish the enzyme defect in gyrate atrophy, the authors measured the activity of ornithine aminotransferase in phytohemagglutinin stimulated lymphocytes in a patient with gyrate atrophy, her daughter, and three normal controls. The patient's cells had no detectable ornithine aminotransferase activity and the daughter's cells had 44% of control activity. This intermediate value is characteristic of an obligate heterozygote. These results are the first demonstration of an enzyme defect in gyrate atrophy.
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