Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Enzyme Level and Antioxidant Activity in Women with Gestational Hypertension and Pre-eclampsia in Lagos, Nigeria
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Deficiencies of enzymes in the folate cycle may lead to the generation of homocysteine, a toxic metabolic intermediate with pro-oxidant effect and ability to induce oxidant stress and lipid peroxidation as part of the pathophysiological process in gestational hypertension (GH) and pre-eclampsia (PE).
The aim of this study is to assess the reliability of plasma homocysteine (hcy) 5, 10 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) enzyme and oxidative stress parameters as indicators of aetio-pathogenesis and severity of gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia.
Subjects and Methods
This was a comparative cross-sectional study conducted over 6 months. Two hundred pregnant women were recruited from two sites. They were divided into gestation hypertension (n = 40), pre-eclampsia (n = 60) and control groups (n = 100). Parameters evaluated for statistical analysis were MTHFR enzyme level, plasma homocysteine and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, with glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities.
Mean plasma hcy level and MDA were significantly higher in pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension when compared to control group (p < 0.05). However, MTHFR enzyme level, GSH, SOD and CAT were significantly higher in normotensive females when compared to PE and GH subgroups (p < 0.05). Pre-eclampsia was significantly associated with an increased risk of lipid peroxidation (OR = 4.923; p = 0.007).
Pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension are associated with marked homocysteine metabolic derangement and increased lipid peroxidation induced by oxidative stress and reduced MTHFR enzyme activity which may be the significant risk factors in the aetio-pathogenesis of GH and PE.
KeywordsPre-eclampsia Gestational hypertension Antioxidant Lipid peroxidation
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Vincent Osunkalu, Idowu Taiwo, Christian Makwe, Oluwatosin Akinsola and Rachel Quao have declared that they have no conflict of interest. All processes involved in this research project were self-sponsored.
Human and Animal Rights
All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (Health Research and Ethics Committee of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and Lagos State Hospital Management Board) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5).
Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.
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