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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jan;58(1):10-6.

Effects of the interaction between the C677T 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphism and serum B vitamins on homocysteine levels in pregnant women.

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Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the interaction between the C677T mutation in the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genotypes and serum levels of B vitamins on serum homocysteine levels in pregnant women.


A cross-sectional study.


Ewha Womans University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


A total of 177 normal pregnant women, 24.6+/-1.1 weeks of gestation, in a 6-month period during 2001-2002.


Serum vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and homocysteine analyses were conducted using high-performance liquid chromatography methods. Serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were determined using a radioimmunoassay kit. MTHFR gene mutation was investigated by the polymerase chain reaction of a genomic DNA fragment.


Serum homocysteine was higher in women with the T/T genotype than those with the C/T or C/C genotype of the MTHFR gene (P<0.05). Serum homocysteine was negatively correlated with serum folate in all MTHFR genotypes (P<0.001), and the correlation between the two serum levels was the strongest in the T/T genotype. Serum homocysteine was higher in the subjects with the T/T MTHFR genotype only when the serum folate was below the median level. Explanatory power of B vitamin status as predictors of serum homocysteine levels was more pronounced in the T/T genotypes (68.5%) compared with the C/T (37.9%) or C/C genotypes (20.6%).


Serum homocysteine levels in pregnant women varied significantly with MTHFR genotype and the serum B vitamin status. Higher serum folate, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12 concentrations may lessen the MTHFR genotypic effect on serum homocysteine levels.

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