Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene polymorphisms in Burkina Faso : impact on plasma fasting homocysteine and after methionine loading test.

Angius A, Simpore J, Persico I, Sassu A, Prodi DA, Musumeci S.

Clin Lab. 2007 ;53(1-2):29-33. PMID : 17323822
 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


In Burkina Faso the levels of plasma homocysteine (Hcy) are lower and the methionine loading tests suggest a more effective Hcy metabolism. The polymorphisms of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) showed a relevant difference in the allele frequencies of T MTHFR-677 in young and in old subjects, while the allele frequency of C MTHFR-1298 was comparable in young and old subjects. The aim of this paper was to study the impact of the MTHFR polymorphisms on plasma fasting Hcy and after methionine loading in Burkina Faso. The young subjects with CC MTHFR-677 genotype had levels of Hcy significantly lower than CT and TT subjects. The level of Hcy in subjects who had AA, AC and CC MTHFR-1298 genotypes were comparable. The levels of Hcy after the methionine loading test were significantly higher in CT and TT MTHFR-677 genotype. These results suggest that the genetic situation in Burkina Faso is different from that of other Western countries and this guarantees the maintenance of lower plasma levels of Hcy in young and old Africans. The elevated levels of plasma Hcy in old subjects compared to young subjects, against the low prevalence of the T allele in elderly subjects, is discussed.

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