Hyperhomocysteinemia decreases bone blood flow.Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2011 Jan 25; 7:31-5.VH
Elevated plasma levels of homocysteine (Hcy), known as hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy), are associated with osteoporosis. A decrease in bone blood flow is a potential cause of compromised bone mechanical properties. Therefore, we hypothesized that HHcy decreases bone blood flow and biomechanical properties. To test this hypothesis, male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with Hcy (0.67 g/L) in drinking water for 8 weeks. Age-matched rats served as controls. At the end of the treatment period, the rats were anesthetized. Blood samples were collected from experimental or control rats. Biochemical turnover markers (body weight, Hcy, vitamin B(12), and folate) were measured. Systolic blood pressure was measured from the right carotid artery. Tibia blood flow was measured by laser Doppler flow probe. The results indicated that Hcy levels were significantly higher in the Hcy-treated group than in control rats, whereas vitamin B(12) levels were lower in the Hcy-treated group compared with control rats. There was no significant difference in folate concentration and blood pressure in Hcy-treated versus control rats. The tibial blood flow index of the control group was significantly higher (0.78 ± 0.09 flow unit) compared with the Hcy-treated group (0.51 ± 0.09). The tibial mass was 1.1 ± 0.1 g in the control group and 0.9 ± 0.1 in the Hcy-treated group. The tibia bone density was unchanged in Hcy-treated rats. These results suggest that Hcy causes a reduction in bone blood flow, which contributes to compromised bone biomechanical properties.