Genetic and lifestyle variables associated with homocysteine concentrations and the distribution of folate derivatives in healthy premenopausal women
Article first published online: 11 JUN 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Special Issue: Papers from the 6th International Neural Tube Defects Conference
Volume 88, Issue 8, pages 679–688, August 2010
How to Cite
Summers, C. M., Mitchell, L. E., Stanislawska-Sachadyn, A., Baido, S. F., Blair, I. A., Von Feldt, J. M. and Whitehead, A. S. (2010), Genetic and lifestyle variables associated with homocysteine concentrations and the distribution of folate derivatives in healthy premenopausal women. Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology, 88: 679–688. doi: 10.1002/bdra.20683
- Issue published online: 13 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 11 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 APR 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 9 APR 2010
- Manuscript Received: 22 FEB 2010
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Numbers: nos. AR47663, HD039195, ES013508
- Pennsylvania Department of Health. Grant Number: 4100038714
- reproductive age;
- spina bifida risk
Low folate and high homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations are associated with pregnancy-related pathologies such as spina bifida. Polymorphisms in folate/Hcy metabolic enzymes may contribute to this potentially pathogenic biochemical phenotype.
The study comprised 26 Caucasian and 23 African-American premenopausal women. Subjects gave fasting blood samples for biochemical phenotyping and genotyping. Total Hcy (tHcy) and both plasma and red blood cell (RBC) folate derivatives (i.e. tetrahydrofolate [THF], 5-methylTHF [5-MTHF], and 5,10-methenylTHF [5,10-MTHF]) were measured using stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography, multiple reaction monitoring, and mass spectrometry. Eleven polymorphisms from nine folate/Hcy pathway genes were genotyped. Tests of association between genetic, lifestyle, and biochemical variables were applied.
In African American women, tHcy concentrations were associated (p < 0.05) with total RBC folate, RBC 5-MTHF, B12, and polymorphisms in methionine synthase (MTR) and thymidylate synthase (TYMS). In Caucasian women, tHcy concentrations were not associated with total folate levels, but were associated (p < 0.05) with RBC THF, ratios of RBC 5-MTHF:THF, and polymorphisms in 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and MTR. In African Americans, folate derivative levels were associated with smoking, B12, and polymorphisms in MTR, TYMS, methionine synthase reductase (MTRR), and reduced folate carrier1 (RFC1). In Caucasians, folate derivative levels were associated with vitamin use, B12, and polymorphisms in MTHFR, TYMS, and RFC1.
Polymorphisms in the folate/Hcy pathway are associated with tHcy and folate derivative levels. In African American and Caucasian women, different factors are associated with folate/Hcy phenotypes and may contribute to race-specific differences in the risks of a range of pregnancy-related pathologies. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.