Effects of the interaction between the C677T 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism and serum B vitamins on homocysteine levels in pregnant women

K N Kim, Y J Kim, N Chang
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004, 58 (1): 10-6

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the interaction between the C677T mutation in the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genotypes and serum levels of B vitamins on serum homocysteine levels in pregnant women.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Ewha Womans University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

SUBJECTS: A total of 177 normal pregnant women, 24.6+/-1.1 weeks of gestation, in a 6-month period during 2001-2002.

INTERVENTIONS: Serum vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and homocysteine analyses were conducted using high-performance liquid chromatography methods. Serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were determined using a radioimmunoassay kit. MTHFR gene mutation was investigated by the polymerase chain reaction of a genomic DNA fragment.

RESULTS: Serum homocysteine was higher in women with the T/T genotype than those with the C/T or C/C genotype of the MTHFR gene (P<0.05). Serum homocysteine was negatively correlated with serum folate in all MTHFR genotypes (P<0.001), and the correlation between the two serum levels was the strongest in the T/T genotype. Serum homocysteine was higher in the subjects with the T/T MTHFR genotype only when the serum folate was below the median level. Explanatory power of B vitamin status as predictors of serum homocysteine levels was more pronounced in the T/T genotypes (68.5%) compared with the C/T (37.9%) or C/C genotypes (20.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: Serum homocysteine levels in pregnant women varied significantly with MTHFR genotype and the serum B vitamin status. Higher serum folate, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12 concentrations may lessen the MTHFR genotypic effect on serum homocysteine levels.

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