Folate and vitamin B12 improved alcohol-induced hyperhomocysteinemia in rats

Nutrition. 2011 Oct;27(10):1034-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2010.10.019. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the protective effects of combined treatment of folate and vitamin B12 against alcoholic liver disease.

Methods: Male Wistar rats weighing about 160 g were divided into four groups: an ethanol group fed an ethanol liquid diet; a control group pair-fed an isoenergetic diet without ethanol; an ethanol and vitamin group fed an ethanol-containing diet that was supplemented with folate (10 mg/kg of body weight per day) and vitamin B12 (0.5 mg/kg of body weight per day); and a control and vitamin group fed an isoenergetic diet without ethanol, which was supplemented with folate (10 mg/kg of body weight per day) and vitamin B12 (0.5 mg/kg of body weight per day).

Results: After 16 wk, the plasma folate concentration in the ethanol group was significantly lower than in the other three groups. The plasma homocysteine concentration in the ethanol group was significantly higher than in the other three groups. The hepatic matrix metalloproteinase-2 concentration in the ethanol group was significantly higher than in the control and ethanol/vitamin groups. Furthermore, the plasma homocysteine concentration at the 16th week and the hepatic matrix metalloproteinase-2 concentration showed a significant positive correlation in rats of each group. In addition, pathologic evidence of liver fibrosis was observed only in the ethanol group. Furthermore, hepatic cytochrome 2E1 protein expression in group E increased significantly.

Conclusion: These results suggest that combined treatment of folate and vitamin B12 can alleviate alcoholic liver injury that may be related to normalization of plasma homocysteine levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytochromes / metabolism
  • Folic Acid / blood
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Homocysteine / blood*
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / metabolism
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia / pathology
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / drug therapy*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / pathology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vitamin B 12 / pharmacology
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin B Complex / pharmacology
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Cytochromes
  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Folic Acid
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Vitamin B 12