Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Jul;34(1):274-9.

Effects of folate supplementation in hyperhomocysteinemic pigs.

Author information

Department of Cardiology, Hôpital de la Timone, Marseille, France.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of folic acid in the pig model of hyperhomocysteinemia.


We have previously shown that pigs fed a methionine-rich diet develop hyperhomocysteinemia, arterial lesions and thrombotic events. Elevated homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis that can be markedly lowered with daily folic acid administration. However, it is not known whether this treatment can prevent arterial lesions.


Three groups of pigs were studied: 8 control subjects received a standard diet; 8 received a methionine-rich diet for four months; 8 received a methionine-rich diet for 1 month and then the methionine-rich diet + 5 mg/day folic acid for 3 months. At month 4 after hemodynamic investigation, all the pigs were sacrificed.


Control animals developed few usual vascular streaks. All the pigs fed a methionine-rich diet without folic acid treatment developed hyperhomocysteinemia (10.3+/-1.3 micromol/liter at basal state, 18.2+/-2.5 micromol/liter at one month and 14.6+/-3.8 micromol/liter at four months), hemodynamic abnormalities and diffuse arterial lesions with smooth muscle cell hyperplasia, endothelial alterations and elastic lamina dislocation. In this group, one pig died of venous thromboembolism and one of myocardial infarction. The pigs fed a methionine-rich diet + folic acid displayed similar arterial lesions and two had thrombotic events (one myocardial infarction and one pulmonary embolism), despite normalization of homocysteine levels (10.9+/-1.3 micromol/liter at basal state, 19.5+/-2.5 micromol/liter at one month and 11.4+/-3.8 micromol/liter at four months).


In the pig model of hyperhomocysteinemia, 5 mg/day folic acid did not prevent arterial lesions or thrombotic events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center