urea and uric acid

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by applicant2002, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. applicant2002

    applicant2002 Senior Member

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    I am studying biochem and have a question. I am confused. Are Urea and Uric acid related in body pathways or is it just that one is a product of aa metabolism and one of purine metabolism, and they just happen to have similar names. i.e. are they related in the body: can high urea levels cause gout. or can only high uric acid levels cause gout?

    thanks for any and all help

    Your kindness and thoughtfullness has been greatly appreciated.:clap:
     
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  3. Mossjoh

    Mossjoh Mayo Clinic-PGY2

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    They are two separate things. Urea is how the body rids itself of nitrogen from things like amino acids. This is commonly done through transaminations and involves the liver. In order to get nitrogen to the liver to run the urea cycle, nitrogen must be attached to specific carriers that can travel in the bloodstream...like glutamine.

    Uric acid is a breakdown product of purines...that is correct. Adenine and guanine have specific pathways, basically they forming xanthine that is then oxidized into uric acid. High serum levels of uric acid with low kidney excretion is often the cause of gout. (Uric acid precipitating in the tissues...usually in the great toe.) Gout is extremely painful and is usually treated with a number of different drugs..one being allopurinol.

    Hope this helps

    Mossjoh
     
  4. T.A.M

    T.A.M Senior Member

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    I concur with the last post. Just to add a few tidbits, both urea and uric acid are excreted via the kidneys- hence, urine contains both, although it contains far more urea. Uric acid is also removed to a lesser extent by the GI tract.
     

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