Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario
Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R.
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Background: Hyperhomocysteinemia has been associated with vascular disease in many epidemiological studies. However, the pathophysiology is unclear. It is postulated that increased levels of homocysteine induce an inflammatory response in endothelial cells, mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. The aim of this study was to investigate whether plasma concentrations of interleukin-6, interleukin-8, C-reactive protein, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 are increased with higher plasma homocysteine concentrations and whether decreasing homocysteine by vitamin supplementation decreases the concentration of these markers.
Methods: Plasma homocysteine, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, C-reactive protein, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 concentrations were measured in 230 volunteers before and after 8 weeks of multivitamin supplementation (folic acid, B6, and B12).
Results: At baseline, plasma homocysteine concentration was weakly associated with interleukin-8, but not with interleukin-6, C-reactive protein or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Vitamin supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in homocysteine concentration, but no effect on interleukin-6, interleukin-8, C-reactive protein or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 was observed.
Conclusions: At baseline homocysteine was only weakly correlated with interleukin-8, but not with interleukin-6, C-reactive protein or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. Vitamin supplementation affected homocysteine concentration, but not cytokine levels. The hypothesis that hyperhomocysteinemia increases arteriosclerotic or thrombotic risk through vascular inflammation was not supported by this study.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:54–8.
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