Lentz SR, Sobey CG, Piegors DJ, Bhopatkar MY, Faraci FM,
Malinow MR, Heistad DD
Vascular dysfunction in monkeys with diet-induced
J Clin Invest
(Jul) 98:24 1996
HDCN has reviewed a number of papers pertaining to homocysteine levels in
both non-dialysis and in
dialysis patients. For related articles and abstracts,
Shemin et al.
Fermo et al.
Gupta et al.
It is now clear that patients with elevated plasma homocysteine levels are at
increased risk for
atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Elevated homocysteine levels may be as or
more important that
elevated cholesterol levels. As treating with folic acid (industrial doses
are needed in dialysis
patients) will significantly lower plasma homocysteine levels, this is an
abnormality that appears
to be treatable in many instances. It amazes me that measurement of plasma
homocysteine levels is
not more widely available.
In this paper by Lentz et al, the mechanism of vascular injury by
homocysteine is explored. When
cynomolgus monkeys were fed a diet designed to increase plasma homcysteine
levels from 4 to 10 uM,
leg blood flow in response to platelet activation decreased, and response to
vasodilators was impaired.
Comment: This is an important study in that it shows rather rapid
alterations in vascular
responses after only a brief period of homocysteine feeding.
(John T. Daugirdas, M.D., University of Illinois at Chicago)
The abstract of this paper is available from the National Library of
Medicine's PubMed site:
click here .