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Clin Sci (Lond). 2001 Feb;100(2):127-35.

Effects of acute methionine loading and vitamin C on endogenous fibrinolysis, endothelium-dependent vasomotion and platelet aggregation.

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  • 1Clinical Pharmacology Unit and Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Scotland, U.K.


We assessed forearm blood flow and plasma fibrinolytic factors in eight healthy males who received unilateral brachial artery infusions of the endothelium-dependent vasodilator, substance P, and the endothelium-independent vasodilator, sodium nitroprusside. These measurements, together with platelet aggregation studies, were performed on four occasions after double-blind randomized ingestion of placebo, methionine (0.1 mg/kg), vitamin C (2 g) and methionine plus vitamin C. Blood flow and platelet aggregation responses were unaffected by methionine loading. Substance P caused dose-dependent increases in plasma tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen (from 3.0+/-0.1 to 4.7+/-0.4 ng/ml; P<0.001) and activity (from 1.2+/-0.2 to 4.2+/-0.4 i.u./ml; P<0.001), which were augmented during acute methionine loading (4.7+/-0.4 to 5.6+/-0.5 ng/ml and 4.2+/-0.4 to 5.5+/-0.9 i.u./ml respectively; P</=0.05). Moreover, the estimated net release of t-PA was enhanced during methionine loading (two-way ANOVA; P=0.02), but this was unaffected by vitamin C supplementation. We conclude that, in the absence of alterations in endothelium-dependent vasomotion or platelet aggregation, substance P-induced t-PA release is enhanced following methionine loading. This suggests that the acute endogenous fibrinolytic capacity is augmented during acute hyperhomocysteinaemia in healthy humans via an oxidation-independent mechanism.

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