Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is the main regulatory enzyme for homocysteine metabolism. In the present study, we evaluated whether the MTHFR 677C>T and 1298A>C gene polymorphisms are associated with SBI and plasma homocysteine concentration in a Korean population.
Materials and Methods
We enrolled 264 patients with SBI and 234 healthy controls in South Korea. Fasting plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations were measured, and genotype analysis of the MTHFR gene was carried out.
The plasma tHcy levels were significantly higher in patients with SBI than in healthy controls. Despite a significant association between the MTHFR 677TT genotype and hyperhomocysteinemia, the MTHFR 677C>T genotypes did not appear to influence susceptibility to SBI. However, odds ratios of the 1298AC and 1298AC + CC genotypes for the 1298AA genotype were significantly different between SBI patients and normal controls. The frequencies of 677C-1298A and 677C-1298C haplotypes were significantly higher in the SBI group than in the control group.
This study demonstrates that the MTHFR 1298A>C polymorphism is a risk factor for SBI in a Korean population. The genotypes of 677C>T and 1298A>C polymorphisms interact additively, and increase the risk of SBI in Korean subjects.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; polymorphism; haplotype; silent brain infarction
To investigate the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and A1298C genotypes and plasma concentrations of total homocysteine (tHcy) in Pakistani patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) and primary closed angle glaucoma (PCAG).
This was a prospective case-control study. A total of 295 patients (173 POAG, 122 PCAG) and 143 age- and sex-matched controls were subdivided into two ethnic groups, Punjabis (Punjab province, central Pakistan) and Pathans (North-West Frontier Province, northern Pakistan). Genotypes of the MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms were detected by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to determine the total serum homocysteine (tHcy) levels. Associations were determined by logistic regression analysis.
Frequency distributions of genotypes and combined genotypes as well as homocysteine levels were obtained. The overall distribution of the C677T genotype was found to be significantly associated with PCAG (CC 69%, CT 21%, TT 10%; p=0.001, χ2=12.6), but not with POAG (CC 71%, CT 28%, TT 1%; p=0.98, χ2=0.02) as compared to the controls (CC 71%, CT 29%, TT 1%). The Pathan cohorts revealed no association with the disease; however, the Punjabis demonstrated a significant association with PCAG (CC 75%, CT 11%, TT 13%; p<0.001, χ2=17.2). PCAG in the Punjabi subjects was also significantly associated with the A1298C polymorphism (AA 43%, AC 54%, CC 3%; p<0.001, χ2=33.9) as compared to the controls. Combined genotype data showed no association with POAG; however, a significant association with all combined genotypes was observed in the overall PCAG subjects (p<0.05, χ2=20.1). This difference was particularly apparent in the TTAA and TTAC combinations that were completely absent in the control groups (p<0.05. χ2=49.6). Mean serum tHcy levels were found to be significantly increased in the POAG (15.2±1.28 µmol/l, p<0.001) and PCAG (20.8±4.8 µmol/l) groups as compared to the controls (10.0±0.97 µmol/l). The tHcy levels in the TT and AC genotype were significantly elevated in the PCAG group (67±12.39 µmol/l, p<0.001; 23±5.94 µmol/l, p=0.027) as compared to the controls.
The TT and AC genotypes of MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms and the combined genotype TTAC were associated with PCAG in Punjabi subjects of Pakistani origin and correlated with the high serum tHcy levels seen in these patients.
BACKGROUND—Raised levels of total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) are associated with an increased risk of retinal vascular occlusive disease. A thermolabile form of a pivotal enzyme in homocysteine metabolism, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), has been associated with vascular occlusive disease and raised tHcy levels. The relation between thermolabile MTHFR genotype, tHcy, and retinal vascular occlusive disease has not been determined.
METHODS—A retrospective case-control study involving hospital based controls and cases with retinal vascular occlusions in whom tHcy levels had been determined was undertaken. Genotyping for the MTHFR 677 C-T mutation that specifies the thermolabile form of the enzyme was performed by established methods in all subjects. The relation between homozygosity for thermolabile MTHFR genotype (TT), raised tHcy levels, and risk of retinal vascular occlusive disease was examined.
RESULTS—87 cases of retinal vascular occlusive disease (mean age 68.7 years) comprising 26 cases of retinal artery occlusion and 61 of retinal vein occlusion were compared with 87 controls (mean age 70.2 years). The TT genotype did not confer a significantly increased risk of retinal vascular occlusive disease. The mean tHcy level was significantly higher in the cases than in the controls (p<0.0001). Overall, and in both the cases and controls, the frequency of the TT genotype was higher in those with normal tHcy levels than in those with increased levels of tHcy. However, the TT genotype did not significantly alter the risk of increased tHcy levels in these patients.
CONCLUSIONS—The TT genotype is not associated with an increased risk of retinal vascular occlusive disease or increased tHcy levels in this group of elderly patients. In older patients, nutritional rather than genetic factors may be more important in increasing tHcy levels, a known risk factor for retinal vascular occlusive disease.
Increased plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) levels have been shown to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). The common methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T (MTHFR C677T) polymorphism has been reported to be a strong predictor of mild hyperhomocysteinaemia (HHcy). We assessed whether this mutation was associated with increased risk of CAD and plasma levels of tHcy. We also evaluated interactions between this polymorphism, mild elevated tHcy levels and conventional risk factors of CAD. Method. Using PCR-RFLP analysis, we studied the frequency of the C677T genotypes and its effect on CAD and on tHcy concentrations in 400 subjects without and with CAD angiographically confirmed. There were 210 subjects with CAD and 190 subjects without CAD. Results. The frequencies of the C677T genotypes were 53% (59.5% in controls versus 48.1% in cases), 34.8% (32.1 in controls versus 37.1 in cases), and 11.8% (8.4% in controls versus 14.8% in cases), respectively, for 677CC, 677CT, and 677TT. The genotype frequencies were significantly different between case and control groups (P < .05). The 677T allele enhances the risk of CAD associated to HHcy (P < .01). In multivariate analysis models, MTHFR C677T polymorphism effect on CAD was masked by other risk factors. HHcy was only and independently influenced by MTHFR polymorphism and smoking habits, and it is a strong predictor of CAD independently of conventional risk factors. Conclusion. Our data suggest that HHcy is strongly and independently associated to CAD risk increase; and MTHFR C677T polymorphism and smoking habits were the main predictors of tHcy levels. The CAD risk increase is mainly associated with mild HHcy in 677TT, whereas in 677CT and 677CC it is mainly associated with the conventional risk factors.
High total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) has been associated with cognitive impairment in later life, but it is unclear if this association is causal or is due to confounding. The C677T polymorphism of the 5,10 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) increases basal tHcy, but its contribution to cognitive impairment has not been established. We designed this study to determine if tHcy is causally related to cognitive impairment in later life by investigating its association with high tHcy and the MTHFR-C677T polymorphism. We recruited 1778 older men from the Health in Men Study cohort and established caseness on the basis of the participants' scores on a Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status score ⩽27 in 2008. Exposure to tHcy, gene status and other variables of interest were obtained from assessments 4–7 years earlier. Multivariate logistic regression showed that the odds of cognitive impairment increased with a doubling of tHcy (adjusted odds ratio, OR 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI 1.02–1.82). Compared with the wild CC genotype, participants with the MTHFR-TT genotype had 46% greater odds of cognitive impairment (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.01–2.11, P=0.043). The results of this study are consistent with, but do not prove the hypothesis that high tHcy causes cognitive impairment in later life.
cognition; dementia; homocysteine; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene
BACKGROUND—Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with an increased incidence of thromboembolic disease. Hyperhomocysteinaemia (hyper-tHcy), a condition associated with the C677T variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), is linked with an increased incidence of thromboembolic disease. Hyper-tHcy has been reported in patients with IBD.
AIMS—To assess the prevalence of the C677T MTHFR genotype and the contribution of this genotype to hyper-tHcy in patients with IBD.
METHODS—Patients with established IBD (n=174) and healthy controls (n=273) were studied. DNA samples were genotyped for the MTHFR (C677T) mutation. Subjects were categorised as homozygous for the thermolabile variant (TT), heterozygous for wild type and variant (CT), or homozygous for the wild type (CC).
RESULTS—Plasma homocysteine concentrations were significantly higher in patients with IBD than in healthy controls. A total of 17.5% of ulcerative colitis and 16.8% of Crohn's disease patients were homozygous for the C677T variant compared with 7.3% of controls. Homozygosity (TT) for the variant was associated with higher plasma tHcy levels in patients with IBD and in healthy controls. When all subjects who were TT for the variant were excluded, median plasma tHcy was still significantly higher in IBD than controls. Plasma vitamin B12 levels were lower in patients with IBD irrespective of MTHFR genotype.
CONCLUSIONS—There is an association between the thermolabile MTHFR C677T variant and IBD. This accounts in part for the raised plasma tHcy found in patients with IBD and may contribute to the increased incidence of thromboembolic complications. All patients with IBD should receive low dose folic acid and vitamin B12 therapy to protect against the thromboembolic complications of raised tHcy.
Keywords: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; C677T variant; inflammatory bowel disease
This study aimed to evaluate the plasma homocysteine (tHcy) and folate levels as well as the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T mutation in Egyptian subjects. Fasting total homocysteine (tHcy) and the (MTHFR) C677T mutation were evaluated in 50 healthy young control males (age 35-50 years, Gp1), 50 elderly males age ranged between 50-75 years without any cardiovascular diseases (Gp2) and 50 age matched elderly male patients (Gp3) with myocardial infarction. There was a significant elevation of plasma tHcy in the patients group and Gp2 compared to the young control group (Gp1). The total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) in the control group, Gp2 and the patients group were 17.99 ± 9.76, 39.9 ± 20.06 and 43.8 ± 13.13 μmol/L respectively. The frequency of the TT genotype was 12% in the patient group compared with 8 % in the young healthy controls and elderly subjects (Gp2). The CT genotype constituted 36%, 48% and 44% in the control group, Gp2 and the patients group respectively. There was no significant difference in the occurrence of the TT genotype between the studied groups. Plasma tHcy correlated positively with age, total cholesterol, urea, creatinine, glucose levels and carotid intimal thickness (CIT). Conclusion: The MTHFR mutation does not seem to be associated with either high tHcy or the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases in the studied patients. However, elevated plasma tHcy level positively correlates with age in the studied subjects.
Homocysteine; MTHFR; coronary heart disease
Objective: To investigate the effect of enalapril on plasma homocysteine (Hcy) levels and the association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism with the changes of Hcy levels in response to enalapril among patients with essential hypertension. Methods: A total of 130 patients with mild-to-moderate essential hypertension were enrolled and enalapril was orally administered at a dose of 10 mg/d for eight weeks. Plasma Hcy levels were measured by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) at baseline and after eight weeks of treatment. Genotyping of MTHFR C677T polymorphism was performed by TaqMan probe technique. Results: Compared with baseline, plasma Hcy levels did not change significantly after eight weeks (P=0.81). Stratified by baseline Hcy levels, a significant increase in plasma Hcy levels (P=0.02) among those with Hcy <10 μmol/L was observed, in contrast to no significant changes in plasma Hcy levels (P=0.54) among those with Hcy ≥10 μmol/L. No significant association was observed between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and changes in Hcy levels in response to enalapril. Conclusions: Enalapril may cause an increase in plasma Hcy levels among the hypertensives with low baseline Hcy levels. There was no significant association between MTHFR C677T genotypes and changes in Hcy levels in response to enalapril among subjects with essential hypertension.
Essential hypertension; Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism; Enalapril; Homocysteine
Background: Few studies have examined the effect of alcohol consumption on total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations.
Aim: To assess the effect of an 8-week intervention with vodka or red wine on plasma tHcy and B vitamin concentrations in healthy male volunteers. To assess the effect on tHcy according to methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C>T genotype.
Design and methods: A randomized controlled crossover intervention study measuring tHcy and serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations was conducted in 78 male subjects (21–70 years). Following a 2-week washout period during which no alcohol was consumed, all subjects consumed 24 g alcohol (either 240 ml red wine or 80 ml vodka)/day for a 2-week period. Following a further 2-week washout, participants consumed the alternate intervention for 2 weeks.
Results: A significant increase in plasma tHcy was observed after the 2-week red wine intervention (5%, P = 0.03), and a non-significant increase in tHcy with vodka intervention (3%, P = 0.09). When the two interventions were compared, the change in tHcy did not differ between the vodka and red wine interventions (P = 0.57). There were significant decreases in serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations, and this decrease did not differ between interventions. The increase in tHcy observed in both interventions did not vary by MTHFR 677C>T genotype.
Conclusions: A 2-week alcohol intervention resulted in a decrease in folate and vitamin B12 status and an increase in plasma tHcy. The effect of alcohol intervention on tHcy, folate and vitamin B12 concentrations did not differ between the red wine and vodka intervention groups.
Recent studies have suggested that Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection might be a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Since the bacterium has not been isolated from atherosclerotic lesions, a direct role in atherogenesis is not plausible. We examined associations of plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) and serum folate, independent risk factors for atherosclerosis, with H. pylori infection and subsequent gastric atrophy among 174 patients (78 males and 96 females) aged 20 to 73 years, who visited an H. pylori eradication clinic of Nagoya University from July 2004 to October 2005. Polymorphism genotyping was conducted for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and thymidylate synthase (TS) 28-bp tandem repeats by PCR with confronting two-pair primers and PCR, respectively. H. pylori infection and gastric atrophy were not significantly associated with hyperhomocysteinemia (tHcy ≥ 12 nmol/ml), when adjusted by sex, age, smoking, alcohol, and genotypes of MTHFR and TS. The adjusted odds ratio of gastric atrophy for low folate level (≤ 4mg/ml) was 0.21 (95% confidence interval = 0.05-0.78). The associations of tHcy with serum folate and MTHFR genotype were clearly observed in this dataset. The present study demonstrated that folate and MTHFR genotype were the deterministic factors of plasma tHcy, but not H. pylori infection and subsequent gastric atrophy, indicating that even if H. pylori infection influences the risk of atherosclerosis, the influence may not be through the elevation of homocysteine.
Helicobacter pylori; homocysteine; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); thymidylate synthase (TS); gastric atrophy
Background: Increased serum levels of homocysteine (Hcy) have been reported in patients with Behçet’s disease (BD) with an established risk factor for vascular involvement. Recently, the authors demonstrated that elevated Hcy levels are associated with ocular involvement in such patients. On the other hand, elevated levels of Hcy can result from genetic errors. Indeed, a mutation in the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR C677T) gene influences Hcy metabolism and, therefore, MTHFR C677T polymorphism provokes hyperhomocysteinaemia.
Aim: To investigate the possible genetic factor for the elevation of plasma Hcy level in patients with BD by examining gene interaction with the MTHFR C677T polymorphism, a crucial factor of the Hcy metabolism. In addition, the authors aimed to evaluate if there is an association between the C677T polymorphism and the presence of ocular involvement in such patients.
Method: A total of 59 patients with BD (25 men, 34 women) with a mean age of 34.9 years and 42 age and sex matched healthy control subjects (19 men, 23 women; mean age 32.2) were included in this investigation. MTHFR gene polymorphism was investigated by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of a genomic DNA fragment at nucleotide 677 in all subjects in both groups. The genetic equilibrium is assumed for the gene frequencies of the MTHFR polymorphism in both samples.
Results: The genotype of the MTHFR gene differed between the Behçet’s patients and control subjects (TT: 11.9 v 2.4%; CT: 55.9 v 61.9%; CC: 32.2 v 35.7 %). TT homozygous genotype was more frequently in BD patients than the controls, though the difference was not significant (p = 0.063). In BD patients with ocular involvement, however, the frequencies of MTHFR TT homogenetic type (27.8%) were significantly and statistically higher than those in BD patients without ocular involvement (4.9%, p = 0.022, odds ratio = 7.5), or the controls (2.4%, p = 0.003, odds ratio = 20.0). TT homozygous genotype was associated with an increased risk for ocular involvement.
Conclusion: Elevated serum levels of Hcy seem to be a result of C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene, with increased TT individuals over CC and CT genotype BD patients. Although no association was shown between the MTHFR reductase C677T polymorphism and the increased risk of oral aphtahe or genital ulcers, a mutation in this gene was associated with an increased risk of ocular involvement, suggesting genetic instability with a potential initiation of Hcy lowering therapy in this patient group.
Behçet’s disease; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; gene polymorphism; ocular disease
Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with increased venous thrombosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mutations in the human methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene have been associated with increased homocysteine levels and risks of CVD in various populations including those with kidney disease. Here, we evaluated the influence of MTHFR variants on progressive loss of kidney function.
We analyzed 821 subjects with hypertensive nephrosclerosis from the longitudinal National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) Trial to determine whether decline in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) over ∼4.2 years was predicted by common genetic variation within MTHFR at non-synonymous positions C677T (Ala222Val) and A1298C (Glu429Ala) or by MTHFR haplotypes. The effect on GFR decline was then supported by a study of 1333 subjects from the San Diego Veterans Affairs Hypertension Cohort (VAHC), followed over ∼4.5 years. Linear effect models were utilized to determine both genotype [single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)] and genotype (SNP)-by-time interactions.
In AASK, the polymorphism at A1298C predicted the rate of GFR decline: A1298/A1298 major allele homozygosity resulted in a less pronounced decline of GFR, with a significant SNP-by-time interaction. An independent follow-up study in the San Diego VAHC subjects supports that A1298/A1298 homozygotes have the greatest estimated GFR throughout the study. Haplotype analysis with C677T yielded concurring results.
We conclude that the MTHFR-coding polymorphism at A1298C is associated with renal decline in African-Americans with hypertensive nephrosclerosis and is supported by a veteran cohort with a primary care diagnosis of hypertension. Further investigation is needed to confirm such findings and to determine what molecular mechanism may contribute to this association.
AASK; glomerular filtration rate; hypertension; kidney disease; MTHFR
Hyperhomocysteinemia (hHcy) has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Essential hypertension (EH), a polygenic condition, has also been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular related disorders. To investigate the role of the homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism pathway in hypertension we conducted a case-control association study of Hcy pathway gene variants in a cohort of Caucasian hypertensives and age- and sex-matched normotensives. We genotyped two polymorphisms in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR C677T and MTHFR A1298C), one polymorphism in the methionine synthase reductase gene (MTRR A66G), and one polymorphism in the methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1 gene (MTHFD1 G1958A) and assessed their association with hypertension using chi-square analysis. We also performed a multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) analysis to investigate any potential epistatic interactions among the four polymorphisms and EH. None of the four polymorphisms was significantly associated with EH and although we found a moderate synergistic interaction between MTHFR A1298C and MTRR A66G, the association of the interaction model with EH was not statistically significant (P = 0.2367). Our findings therefore suggest no individual or interactive association between four prominent Hcy pathway markers and EH.
Aims: To investigate the relation between total red cell folate, red cell N5-methyltetrahydrofolate (N5MTHF) concentrations, and N5N10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genotypes in stroke.
Methods: The study comprised 120 consecutive patients presenting to hospital with acute stroke. Multivitamin supplement use was recorded. Serum and red cell folate were measured by microbiological assays using Lactobacillus casei and Enterococcus faecalis, and by the DPC-BioMediq Immulite™ 2000 analyser. Total plasma homocysteine (tHcy), serum cobalamin, and serum vitamin B6 were measured and the C677T MTHFR genotype determined.
Results: There were no significant differences in blood tHcy or vitamin concentrations according to MTHFR genotype in the overall patient cohort. However, when patients taking vitamins were excluded, total red cell folate and red cell N5MTHF were significantly lower in patients with the TT genotype compared with CT or CC genotypes. In the overall cohort, irrespective of genotype, red cell folate was significantly lower when assayed microbiologically than with the Immulite assay. This discrepancy remained after exclusion of patients taking vitamins.
Conclusion: Total red cell folate and red cell N5MTHF are significantly lower in stroke patients with the TT compared with the CT and TT MTHFR genotypes, particularly those not taking vitamin supplements. Microbiological assays that measure biologically active folates provide substantially lower estimates of folate than the Immulite™ assay. Because folate is a key determinant of blood homocysteine values, these findings may impact on the interpretation of the strength and independence of the association between raised blood concentrations of homocysteine and atherothrombosis risk reported in most epidemiological studies.
stroke; folate; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; homocysteine
Background and objectives
Whether the association between mild hyperhomocysteinaemia and ischaemic stroke is the consequence of a predisposing genetic background or is due to the confounding influence of established predisposing factors remains to be determined.
Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentration and the distribution of the C677T genotypes of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (MTHFR) were compared in 174 consecutive patients with stroke aged <45 years and 155 age and sex‐matched controls. The effect of conventional risk factors on the relationship between phenotype‐disease and genotype‐disease was analysed by two‐way and three‐way interaction analysis and by the classification and regression trees (CART) model.
tHcy concentrations were markedly higher in patients with ischaemic stroke (median 11.9 μmol/l, range 2.0–94.0) than in controls (median 9.8 μmol/l, range 4.7–49.6). An increased risk was also associated with the TT677 genotype (odds ratio (OR) 1.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04 to 3.78) and with the T allele (1.40; 95% 1.03 to 1.92) of the MTHFR gene. A differential effect of Hcy levels on risk of stroke was observed according to the distribution of environmental–behavioural risk factors, with a stronger influence in the subcategory of people with hypertension and smokers (OR 24.8; 95% CI 3.15 to 196). A comparable environmental‐dependent TT677 MTHFR genotype–stroke association was observed in the genotype‐disease analysis.
A consistency of phenotype‐disease analysis and genotype‐disease analysis is indicated by analysing specific subcategories of patients, defined by the distribution of established risk factors. The assumption that the Hcy–stroke relationship is unlikely due to a reverse‐causality bias is indirectly supported by our data.
Aging is associated with appearance of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on MRI scans. Vascular risk and inflammation, which increase with age, may contribute to white matter deterioration and proliferation of WMH. We investigated whether circulating biomarkers and genetic variants associated with elevated vascular risk and inflammation are associated with WMH volume in healthy adults (144 volunteers, 44-77 years of age). We examined association of WMH volume with age, sex, hypertension, circulating levels of total plasma homocysteine (tHcy), cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), and C-reactive protein (CRP), and four polymorphisms related to vascular risk and inflammation: Apolipoprotein ε (ApoE ε2,3,4), Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme insertion/deletion (ACE I/D), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T, C-reactive protein (CRP) -286 C>A>T, and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) C-511T. We found that larger WMH volume was associated with advanced age, hypertension, and elevated levels of homocysteine and CRP but not with low-density lipoprotein levels. Homozygotes for IL-1β -511T allele and carriers of CRP -286T allele that are associated with increased inflammatory response had larger WMH than the other allelic combinations. Carriers of the APOE ε2 allele had larger frontal WMH than ε3 homozygotes and ε4 carriers did. Thus, in healthy adults, who are free of neurological and vascular disease, genetic variants that promote inflammation and elevated levels of vascular risk biomarkers can contribute to brain abnormalities.
brain; aging; CRP; interleukin; homocysteine; frontal lobe; ApoE; MTHFR; ACE
Hyperhomocysteinemia due to Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) gene, in particular the C677T (Ala222Val) polymorphism were recently associated to steatosis and fibrosis. We analyzed the frequency of MTHFR gene in a cross-sectional study of patients affected by Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) from Northeast of Brazil.
One hundred seven-four untreated patients with CHC were genotyped for the C677T MTHFR. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood cells and the C677T MTHFR polymorphism was identified by PCR-RFLP. The homocysteine (Hcy) levels were determined by chemiluminescence method. All patients were negative for markers of Wilson's disease, hemochromatosis and autoimmune diseases and have current and past daily alcohol intake less than 100 g/week.
Among subjects infected with CHC genotype non-1 the frequency of MTHFR genotypes TT was 9.8% versus 4.4% genotype 1 (p = 0.01). Nevertheless, association was found between the MTHFR genotype TT × CT/CC polymorphism and the degree of steatosis and fibrosis in both hepatitis C genotype (p < 0.05). A significant difference was found on plasma Hcy levels in patients with steatosis regardless of HCV genotype (p = 0.03).
Our results indicate that plasma Hcy levels is highly prevalent in subjects with chronic hepatits C with steatosis regardless of HCV genotype and vitamin deficiency. The presence of genotype TT of MTHFR C677T polymorphism was more common in CHC genotype non-1 infected patient regardless of histopathological classification and genotype TT+CT frequencies were significant in the presence of fibrosis grade 1+2 and of steatosis in CHC infected patients from the northeast of Brazil regardless of HCV genotype. The genetic susceptibility of MTHFR C677T polymorphism should be confirmed in a large population.
Hepatitis C; MTHFR; Genotype 1; Steatosis; Homocysteine
An elevated level of plasma homocysteine, sulfur containing amino acid generated through demethylation of methionine has been widely accepted as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The increase can result from genetic and/or nutrient related disturbances in the remethylation or transsulfuration pathways for homocysteine metabolism. A common mutation (C677T) in the gene encoding for the enzyme 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) or deficiency of the B vitamins namely folic acid, B12, B6 can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia.
In the present study, we have investigated the incidence of the (C677T) MTHFR polymorphism in the North Indian males. 141 angiographically proven coronary artery disease (CAD) patients and 55 age and sex matched healthy volunteers were examined for the association between MTHFR gene polymorphism and CAD. The MTHFR genotyping was performed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction-isotyping with Hinf 1 endonuclease. A trend for higher ‘T’ allele frequency (0.19) was observed in patients than in controls (0.16). However no significant association was found between C677T mutation and CAD severity. The lack of statistical significance could be due to the small sample size studied. Hence a larger study including various ethnic groups is warranted.
Genetic polymorphism; hyperhomocysteinemia; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular disease
Our aim was to monitor folate status in five creatine transporter deficient (CRTR) patients undergoing glycine/l-arginine (Gly/Arg) therapy after the finding of severe hyperhomocysteinemia in one of these cases.
Five male patients (age range: 12–20; median = 13 years) genetically confirmed of CRTR deficiency, who were treated with oral glycine (200 mg/kg/day) and l-arginine (400 mg/kg/day) twice a day for 9 months. Clinical follow-up was done at baseline and every 3 months after the start of the therapy. Serum folate was assayed by automated procedures, and plasma total homocysteine (tHcys) by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The 677C→T polymorphism of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene was analyzed by PCR.
Case 1 presented severe hyperhomocysteinemia (81 μmol/L; control values <10.8) 3 months after Gly/Arg therapy. Three out of the other four cases disclosed mildly increased plasma tHcys values. Serum folate was normal in all cases before therapy, but 3 months after, a deficient status was detected in two cases and a clear decrement in the others when compared with baseline conditions. Two cases were homozygous for the 677C→T polymorphism of the MTHFR, presenting the highest plasma tHcys values. In all cases, after 3 months of folate supplementation (5 mg/day), both serum folate and tHcys concentrations returned to normal values.
In conclusion, prior to the start of long-term Gly/Arg therapy, the monitoring of folate and plasma tHcys values, together with study of the 677C→T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene, seems necessary in order to correct hyperhomocysteinemia by means of folate supplementation.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T, A1298C and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) A66G polymorphisms are important genetic determinants for homocysteine (Hcy) levels, and are associated with several disorders. These polymorphisms are heterogeneously distributed worldwide. Our objective was to explore the geographical distributions of these polymorphisms in China.
15357 healthy adults were recruited from 10 regions. Buccal samples were collected and genomic DNA was isolated. Genotyping was performed using the fluorogenic 5′-nuclease assay.
The prevalence of the three polymorphisms among different populations from China varied significantly and showed apparent geographical gradients. For MTHFR C677T, the frequencies of the 677T allele and the 677TT genotype were significantly higher among northern populations and ranged from the lowest values (24.0% and 6.4%, respectively) in Hainan (southern) to the highest values (63.1% and 40.8%, respectively) in Shandong (northern). For MTHFR A1298C, the 1298C allele and the 1298CC genotype frequencies were significantly higher among southern populations and increased from low values (13.1% and 1.4%, respectively) in Shandong to high values (25.7% and 6.7%, respectively) in Hainan. For A66G, the 66G allele and the 66GG genotype frequencies increased from lower values (23.7% and 5.4%, respectively) in Shandong to higher values (29.2% and 8.6%, respectively) in Hainan. The overall frequency of the 677T allele, 677TT genotype, 1298C allele, 1298CC genotype, 66G allele and 66GG genotype in the Chinese Han population was 45.2%, 23.2%, 18.6%, 3.9%, 25.7%, and 6.6%, respectively. No gender differences were found in the prevalence of both the MTHFR C677T and MTRR A66G polymorphisms.
This study indicates that there are marked geographical variations in the prevalence of the three polymorphisms among Chinese Han populations. Our baseline data may be useful for future researches in related fields.
Methionine synthase (MTR) and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are the main regulatory enzymes for homocysteine metabolism. The present case-control study was conducted to determine whether there is an association between the MTR 2756A > G or MTHFR 677C > T polymorphism and plasma homocysteine concentration in Korean subjects with ischemic stroke.
Materials and Methods
DNA samples of 237 patients who had an ischemic stroke and 223 age and sex-matched controls were studied. MTR 2756A > G and MTHFR 677C > T genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP).
Frequencies of mutant alleles for MTR and MTHFR polymorphisms were not significantly different between the controls and cases. The patient group, however, had significantly higher homocysteine concentrations of the MTR 2756AA and MTHFR 677TT genotypes than the control group (p = 0.04 for MTR, p = 0.01 for MTHFR). The combined MTR 2756AA and MTHFR 677TT genotype (p = 0.04) and the homocysteine concentrations of the patient group were also higher than those of the controls. In addition, the genotype distribution was significant in the MTHFR 677TT genotype (p = 0.008) and combined MTR 2756AA and MTHFR 677TT genotype (p = 0.03), which divided the groups into the top 20% and bottom 20% based on their homocysteine levels.
The results of the present study demonstrate that the MTR 2756A > G and MTHFR 677C > T polymorphisms interact with elevated total homocysteine (tHcy) levels, leading to an increased risk of ischemic stroke.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR); methionine synthase (MTR); ischemic stroke; hyperhomocysteinemia; polymorphism
Association between rectal or colon cancer risk and serine hydroxymethyltransferase 1 (SHMT1) C1420T or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphisms was assessed. The serum total homocysteine (HCY), marker of folate metabolism was also investigated.
The SHMT1 and MTHFR genotypes were determined by real-time PCR and PCR-RFLP, respectively in 476 patients with rectal, 479 patients with colon cancer and in 461 and 478, respective controls matched for age and sex. Homocysteine levels were determined by HPLC kit. The association between polymorphisms and cancer risk was evaluated by logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex and body mass index. The population stratification bias was also estimated.
There was no association of genotypes or diplotypes with colon cancer. The rectal cancer risk was significantly lower for SHMT1 TT (OR = 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.36-0.89) and higher for MTHFR CT genotypes (OR = 1.4, 95%CI 1.06-1.84). A gene-dosage effect was observed for SHMT1 with progressively decreasing risk with increasing number of T allele (p = 0.014). The stratified analysis according to age and sex revealed that the association is mainly present in the younger (< 60 years) or male subgroup. As expected from genotype analysis, the SHMT1 T allele/MTHFR CC diplotype was associated with reduced rectal cancer risk (OR 0.56, 95%CI 0.42-0.77 vs all other diplotypes together). The above results are unlikely to suffer from population stratification bias. In controls HCY was influenced by SHMT1 polymorphism, while in patients it was affected only by Dukes' stage. In patients with Dukes' stage C or D HCY can be considered as a tumor marker only in case of SHMT1 1420CC genotypes.
A protective effect of SHMT1 1420T allele or SHMT1 1420 T allele/MTHFR 677 CC diplotype against rectal but not colon cancer risk was demonstrated. The presence of SHMT1 1420 T allele significantly increases the HCY levels in controls but not in patients. Homocysteine could be considered as a tumor marker in SHMT1 1420 wild-type (CC) CRC patients in Dukes' stage C and D. Further studies need to clarify why SHMT1 and MTHFR polymorphisms are associated only with rectal and not colon cancer risk.
The aim of this study was to investigate the determinants of serum total homocysteine level (tHcy) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) according to sex.
A total of 1,276 Japanese, diabetics (n = 280) with a control group of non-diabetics (n = 996), were enrolled into the study from 2003 to 2005. This cross-sectional study was conducted for all the subjects, using personal data regarding clinical characteristics and lifestyle. Multiple regression analysis was performed to analyze the association of tHcy with selected factors.
In diabetic subjects, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and serum creatinine levels (Cre), even those within the normal range, were strongly associated with tHcy after adjustment in both sexes; the standardized partial regression coefficient of eGFR for tHcy was −0.251, (p = 0.001) in diabetic men and −0.523, (p < 0.001) in diabetic women. Furthermore, the eGFR of the diabetics, except patients with nephropathy, also had significant association with tHcy in both sexes. Fasting plasma glucose levels and serum triglyceride levels were strongly associated with tHcy in diabetic men only. HbA1c was also associated with tHcy in diabetic men only, though not as significantly. Age and presence of hypertension were significantly associated with tHcy in women.
This study suggests that there are some differences in the factors associated with tHcy between diabetics and non-diabetics, and between the sexes. There is, therefore, circumstantial evidence that elevated tHcy should be evaluated clinically. Because tHcy was strongly associated with eGFR and Cre, even within the normal ranges, tHcy may have important implications regarding the microangiopathy of the kidney and atherosclerosis.
Homocysteine; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Lifestyle; Estimated glomerular filtration rate; Serum creatinine
Elevated plasma concentration of total homocysteine (tHcy) has been linked with many diseases. tHcy is associated with a variety of factors, including polymorphisms in genes involved in homocysteine metabolism. It is not clear whether US-mandated fortification of grain products with folic acid has affected the association of genetic variants with tHcy levels. We determined tHcy concentrations in sera from 997 Caucasians and 692 African Americans participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study before and after folic acid fortification. DNA was genotyped for variants present in four genes involved in homocysteine metabolism: cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) 844ins68, methionine synthase (MS) 2756A>G; methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) 66A>G, and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C>T and 1298A>C. A greater number of African Americans were homozygous for the MS 2756GG, MTRR 66GG and CBS 844ins68 genotypes compared to Caucasians, while prevalence of MTHFR 677TT and 1298CC genotypes was substantially lower in African Americans compared to Caucasians. The overall variance in tHcy levels at y 0, 7, and 15 that can be explained by the combined presence of all five variants increased slightly over time in Caucasians (17%, y 0; 21%, y 7 and 26%, y 15) and in African Americans (13%, y 0; 17% y 7; 18% y 15) largely due to decrease in tHcy variance.
Cystathionine B-synthase; folic acid; homocysteine; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; methionine synthase; methionine synthase reductase
Osteoporotic fractures are a leading cause of disability and, indirectly, of death in the elderly population. Previous studies have shown that homocysteine level and the C677T polymorphism in the gene encoding methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) may be involved in the development of osteoporosis and its related fracture in European populations. The aim of this study was to verify the association of this polymorphism with bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures in our 1899 Chinese postmenopausal women. The C677T T-allele frequency in this population was 39.2%. The distribution of the MTHFR genotypes followed the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. BMD at total body, total hip or femoral neck did not significantly vary with MTHFR C677T genotype. The T-allele carrier tended to have higher risk of having osteoporosis or osteopenia, but the difference was statistically insignificant. However, Poisson regression analysis revealed that the T-allele carriers had an increased risk of fractures (RR=1.7, 95%CI=1.1–2.7, p=0.01) which occurred before or after menopause. As far as fracture incidence after menopause was concerned, the CT or TT genotype had more than twice the risk of the CC genotype (RR=2.5, 95%CI=1.2–4.9, P=0.009). This association was independent of age, physical activity, occupation, passive smoking, height, weight, years since menopause, and total hip BMD.
Our data show that the MTHFR C677T polymorphism is an independent predictor of fracture risk, although it only had a weak effect on BMD. Further study on the mechanistic role that this polymorphism plays in the development of fractures may lead to better understanding of the etiology of osteoporotic fracture.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene; Fracture; Osteoporosis; Genetics; Postmenopausal Women