HDCN Article Review/Hyperlink

Lentz SR, Sobey CG, Piegors DJ, Bhopatkar MY, Faraci FM, Malinow MR, Heistad DD

Vascular dysfunction in monkeys with diet-induced hyperhomocysteinemia

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, see:
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 endothelium-dependent 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 .