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      Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene C677T Polymorphism, Plasma Homocysteine and Folate in End-Stage Renal Disease Dialysis and Non-Dialysis Patients

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          Background: It has been recently suggested that the presence of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene 677TT genotype is associated with younger age at initiation of dialysis, thus raising a hypothesis that younger renal patients carrying the TT genotype are at higher risk to develop end-stage renal disease. The aim of this study was to test the association between the C677T polymorphism and the presence of end-stage renal disease using a family-based study design. Material and Method: C677T polymorphism was genotyped in a group of 247 family trios (offspring affected with end-stage renal disease, dialysed or conservatively treated, and both parents). Transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) was used to evaluate allele transmission from heterozygous parents to affected offspring. Results: The TDT analysis revealed no significant deviation in the transmission of the MTHFR C677T alleles to CRF patients (51 vs. 49% for the C allele and T allele transmission, respectively). We observed a significant relationship between MTHFR genotypes and total plasma homocysteine (tHcy), as well as folate concentration. Also, plasma tHcy and folate were negatively correlated. Conclusion: Our results did not show any association between the MTHFR reductase C677T polymorphism and the increased risk of the development of end-stage renal disease. Whether this polymorphism contributes to the faster rate of decline of renal function in renal patients, must be evaluated further.

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          The Plasma Levels of Homocysteine Are Elevated in Moderate Renal Insufficiency but Do Not Predict the Rate of Progression

          Background: Chronic renal failure is characterized by specific alterations of the lipoprotein metabolism. It is also characterized by elevated plasma levels of total homocysteine (tHcy). Hyperhomocysteinemia has been shown to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis in both the general population and in patients with end-stage renal disease. Aim: To analyze whether elevated tHcy levels also may contribute to a higher rate of progression of renal insufficiency in patients with moderately advanced renal failure. Methods: To investigate whether tHcy concentrations are associated with an accelerated rate of progression of renal insufficiency, we have correlated baseline plasma concentrations of tHcy with the progressive decline of renal function in an observational study of human chronic renal disease. Results: Sixty-three nondiabetic patients (49 men, 14 women) were studied as part of an observational study of patients with moderately advanced renal insufficiency. The average follow-up time of the patient population was 3.0 years, and the mean rate of decline in glomerular filtration rate ( 51 Cr- EDTA clearance) was –3.2 ± (SD) 3.9 ml/min × 1.73 m 2 body surface area. The mean plasma concentration of tHcy at the beginning of the study was 28.3 ± 12.0 µmol/l. Plasma tHcy concentrations correlated significantly with the glomerular filtration rate (r = –0.32, p < 0.01). However, there was no association between the initial plasma level of tHcy and the rate of progression as assessed by linear regression analysis (r = 0.02; NS). In contrast, increased levels of apolipoprotein B, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and proteinuria were all significantly associated with a more rapid decline in renal function. Conclusions: Patients with moderately advanced chronic renal insufficiency have elevated plasma levels of homocysteine. The tHcy plasma levels increase in parallel with the degree of reduction in renal function. However, the hyperhomocysteinemia is not prospectively associated with a higher rate of progression of the renal functional impairment. Hence, there is no indication that elevated homocysteine levels play a contributing role for an accelerated glomerulosclerotic process.
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            Returning home: reflections on the USA's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic

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              Polymorphism in Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene: Its Impact on Plasma Homocysteine Levels and Carotid Atherosclerosis in ESRD Patients Receiving Hemodialysis

              The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism has been shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease in healthy subjects as well as in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In this study, we examined the allelic frequency and genotype distribution of the MTHFR gene in 151 Chinese ESRD patients receiving hemodialysis and 135 healthy controls. In addition, we investigated the relationship between the MTHFR gene polymorphism and the plasma homocysteine (Hcy) level as well as the intima-media thickness of common carotid artery (CC-IMT) in these patients. The allelic frequency of the MTHFR gene with the C677T mutation in ESRD patients was 24.5% and that in healthy controls was 23%. Mean plasma Hcy level of the ESRD patients (23.1 ± 7.4 µmol/l) was significantly higher than that of the controls (10.1 ± 5.0 µmol/l), but did not correlate with vitamin B 6 and vitamin B 12 status. Moreover, the extent of hyperhomocysteinemia was genetically affected by the C677T mutation of the MTHFR gene. The plasma Hcy levels for the patients with the CC, CT and TT genotypes of the MTHFR gene were 22.3 ± 6.8, 22.8 ± 7.3, and 28.3 ± 2.8 µmol/l, respectively. In addition, we found that the patients bearing the TT genotype had the highest CC-IMT (0.93 ± 0.07 mm), whereas the lowest values (0.79 ± 0.13 mm) were observed in those who had the CC genotype. One-way ANOVA showed that the CC-IMT in the patients with the TT genotype was significantly greater than that of the patients with the CC genotype (p 2 = 0.34). We conclude that both the TT genotype and the T allele of the MTHFR gene are associated with the increase of CC-IMT in hemodialysis patients. The C677T mutation of the MTHFR gene may be an independent risk factor that predicts the development of carotid atherosclerosis in ESRD patients.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2002
                14 August 2002
                : 92
                : 1
                : 235-239
                Department and Clinic of Internal Medicine, Diabetology and Nephrology, Silesian School of Medicine, Zabrze, Poland
                64458 Nephron 2002;92:235–239
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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