Riboflavin Deficiency, Brain Function, and Health

  • Rita Sinigaglia-Coimbra
  • Antonio Carlos Lopes
  • Cicero G. Coimbra


Vitamin B2 primarily or secondarily participates in a much wider range of critical metabolic pathways than currently recognized. An inherited disorder of the cellular uptake and trafficking of vitamin B2 metabolites may result in poor intestinal absorption, increased urinary loss, and disrupted homeostasis of vitamin B2 metabolites in the CNS. It may affect 10%–15% of the general population and be the most prevalent genetic risk factor for several human diseases. The implications include altered metabolism of several biomolecules and enzyme systems of well-established pathophysiologic relevance such as vitamins B6, B9 (folate), B12, D3, NO, lipids, amino acids, proteins, DNA, cytochrome P-450 and other enzyme systems, HO, and homocysteine. Oxidative stress, and both apoptotic and necrotic phenomena may be enhanced. Due to the loss of the brain privilege for vitamin B2 supply, this inherited condition may be particularly relevant for CNS diseases such as migraine, brain ischemia, traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative disorders (especially Parkinson and Alzheimer’s diseases), epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and for Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenia, and mitochondrial myopathies. This chapter aims at providing an overview of the potential pathophysiologic, preventive, and therapeutic implications of this prevalent (yet poorly recognized) inherited metabolism disorder for neurological diseases.


Celiac Disease Cysteic Acid Seborrheic Dermatitis Aromatic Heterocyclic Amine Proximal Ileum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Brain-blood barrier




Cysteine and sulfinic acid decarboxylase


Cystathionine β-synthase


Cyclic guanosine monophosphate


Cystathionine-γ-lyase, or cystathionase


Central nervous system


Carbon monoxide


Cerebrospinal fluid


Erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient


Endothelial nitric oxide synthase


Flavin adenine dinucleotide


Flavin mononucleotide


γ-aminobutyric acid


Glutamic acid decarboxylase


γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase


Guanosine monophosphate


Glutathione reductase


Reduced glutathione


Oxidized glutathione


Glutathione S-transferases


Hydrogen sulphide


Heme oxygenase


High-performance liquid chromatography


Inducible nitric oxide synthase


Multiple acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency




Methionine synthase


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate


Neuronal nitric oxide synthase


Nitric oxide


Nitric oxide synthase


Parkinson’s disease




Pyridoxine(pyridoxamine)-5′-phosphate oxidase






Vitamin D receptor



The authors acknowledge the support of Brazilian governmental funding agencies FAPESP, CAPES, CNPq.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rita Sinigaglia-Coimbra
  • Antonio Carlos Lopes
  • Cicero G. Coimbra
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental Pathophysiology, Department of Neurology and NeurosurgeryFederal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP)São PauloBRAZIL

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