Author(s): Woo CW, Prathapasinghe GA, Siow YL, O K
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Abstract Hyperhomocysteinemia, a condition of elevated blood homocysteine level, is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Hyperhomocysteinemia is also found in patients with liver diseases. However, the direct effect of homocysteine on liver injury is not well known. Folic acid supplementation is a promising approach for improving endothelial function in patients with hyperhomocysteinemia. The aim of this study was to investigate the direct effect of hyperhomocysteinemia on liver injury and whether folic acid could offer any protective effect to the liver. Hyperhomocysteinemia was induced in rats fed a high-methionine diet for 4 weeks. There was a significant increase in the serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase activities reflecting liver injury in hyperhomocysteinemic rats. Hepatic NAD(P)H oxidase was activated during hyperhomocysteinemia leading to increased superoxide anion production and peroxynitrite formation in the liver. As a consequence, the level of lipid peroxides was significantly elevated in livers of hyperhomocysteinemic rats. Folic acid supplementation effectively inhibited NAD(P)H oxidase-mediated superoxide anion production leading to reduced lipid peroxidation in the liver. Folic acid supplementation also alleviated hyperhomocysteinemia-induced liver injury. These results suggest that hyperhomocysteinemia can cause liver injury and supplementation of folic acid offers a hepatoprotective effect.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences