Evaluation of the relationship between C677T variants of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene and hyperhomocysteinemia in children receiving antiepileptic drug therapy.Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2008; 32(3):844-8PN
Homocysteine (Hcy) is a sulfur-containing amino acid involved in methionine metabolism. Elevated plasma Hcy concentration is a possible risk factor for vascular disease. Folate and vitamin B-12 are vitamins that are necessary for remethylization of Hcy to methionine. The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is the key enzyme in remethylation of Hcy to methionine and supplies the required 5-methyltetrahydrofolate as the methyl donor for this reaction. It is well known that some antiepileptic drugs (AED) can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia by affecting the levels of folate and vitamin B-12. The C677T variant of MTHFR gene can also lead to hyperhomocysteinemia particularly when serum folate level is decreased. In this study, we investigated the levels of serum folate, vitamin B-12 and Hcy in epileptic patients receiving carbamazepine (CBZ) or valproic acid (VPA) as monotherapy, and we also evaluated the probable contribution of the C677T variant of MTHFR gene in hyperhomocysteinemia. A total of 93 patients with idiopathic epilepsy receiving CBZ or VPA as monotherapy were included in this study. CBZ and VPA groups consisted of 29 and 64 patients, respectively. The control group comprised 62 healthy children. We measured serum folate, vitamin B-12 and Hcy levels in each group. We found that mean serum folate level was statistically lower and mean Hcy level was higher in epileptic patients receiving CBZ or VPA when compared with those of controls'. We also determined the C677T variants of MTHFR gene (as normal, heterozygote or homozygote) in epileptic patients. We compared the variant groups for serum folate, vitamin B-12 and Hcy levels and found no significant differences among them. In conclusion, C677T variants of MTHFR gene have no contribution in hyperhomocysteinemia in epileptic patients receiving CBZ or VPA.