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B6db references: 86064904

type Journal Article
authors Wilcken, D. E.; Dudman, N. P.; Tyrrell, P. A.
title Homocystinuria due to cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency--the effects of betaine treatment in pyridoxine-responsive patients
journal Metabolism
ui 86064904
year (1985)
volume 34
number 12
pages 1115-21.
keywords Adolescence
abstract Homocystinuria due to cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency may be responsive to pyridoxine, a precursor of the cofactor pyridoxal phosphate, and the amount of residual enzyme activity present is the probable determinant of this. In six treated pyridoxine-responsive patients whose biochemical control of fasting plasma amino acid levels appeared optimal, we assessed the effects on plasma amino acids of standard oral methionine loads (4g/m2 of body area) before and after adding betaine (trimethylglycine) 6 g/d, to the treatment regimen of pyridoxine and folic acid. Our aim was to define the capacity of these patients to metabolize methionine and to determine whether betaine would effect a reduction in postload homocysteine levels. During the 24 hours after the methionine challenge all patients had higher plasma methionine and homocysteine and lower cysteine than did 17 normal subjects. After betaine these homocysteine responses were reduced to near normal, and there was a trend toward increased methionine. There was a direct correlation between premethionine fasting homocysteine and mean homocysteine responses during the 24 hours following the methionine load, both before (r = 0.79) and after betaine (r = 0.71). Betaine also increased plasma cysteine levels in patients with the more severe biochemical abnormalities. After betaine there were modest increases in plasma serine (mean increase 25%; P less than 0.025). Since the vascular complications of homocystinuria are related to increased plasma homocysteine, betaine therapy may reduce this risk in patients receiving a standard pyridoxine and folic acid regimen in whom there are abnormal homocysteine responses after a standard methionine load.
last changed 2002/11/12 16:17

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