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Atherosclerosis. 1995 Jul;116(1):59-62.

Net uptake of plasma homocysteine by the rat kidney in vivo.

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Framingham Heart Study, MA 01701, USA.


Hyperhomocysteinemia is a common finding in dialysis-dependent end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, but its etiology and refractoriness to standard homocysteine-lowering B-vitamin therapy are poorly understood. In the absence of actual in vivo data, it has been hypothesized that loss of normal renal parenchymal uptake and metabolism of homocysteine is an important determinant of hyperhomocysteinemia in ESRD, given that urinary homocysteine excretion by healthy kidneys is trivial. We assessed net renal uptake and metabolism of homocysteine using an established rat model for measuring arteriovenous amino acid differences across the rat kidney, along with simultaneous determination of renal plasma flow, urine flow, and urinary homocysteine concentration. Substantial homocysteine uptake and metabolism by normal rat kidneys was demonstrated, and we also confirmed that urinary homocysteine excretion is minimal. These data suggest that loss of the sizable homocysteine metabolizing capacity of the intact kidneys may be an important determinant of the refractory, potentially atherothrombotic hyperhomocysteinemia frequently observed in ESRD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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