Elevated homocysteine in human abdominal aortic aneurysmal tissues

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An abnormally high level of homocysteine (Hcy) has been consistently observed in the blood of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients. However, the expression of Hcy in human AAA tissues has not been investigated. In this study, the expression of Hcy in aneurysmal tissues from AAA patients (n=30) was compared with non-aneurysmal tissues from organ donors (n=31) by dot blotting and immunohistochemistry. A significantly higher expression of Hcy was observed in AAA than control tissues (p<0.001). Furthermore, the associations of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism, detected by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism, with both AAA and tissue Hcy expression were evaluated. Our results showed MTHFR C677T polymorphism was not significantly associated with AAA or tissue Hcy expression. Lastly, the expression of Hcy in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), which were isolated from human aortic tissues by explant culture, and their release to cultured media was investigated by dot blotting. The AAA VSMCs expressed and released a significantly higher level of Hcy than the control VSMCs (p<0.001). In summary, our novel findings showed Hcy expression was abnormally elevated in human AAA tissues, which may not be dependent on MTHFR C677T polymorphism.

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