Homocysteine metabolism in children and adolescents: Influence of age on plasma biomarkers and correspondent genotype interactions

Helena Caldeira-Araújo, Ruben Ramos, Cristina Florindo, Isabel Rivera, Rita Castro, Isabel Tavares de Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Imbalance of homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism links with several pathologies; nevertheless, it is poorly characterized in pediatric populations. This study investigated the impact of age on plasma concentrations of Hcy and relevant biomarkers along with correspondent genotype interactions. Methods: A healthy pediatric cohort aged 9 (n = 195) and 17 (n = 128) years old (yo) was studied. Immunoassays and GC-MS-SIM-mode quantified plasma levels of Hcy and biomarkers. PCR-RFLP or quantitative-PCR assays assessed common variations in related genes. Results: Age impacted on levels of Hcy and metabolic markers: older children presented with the lowest folates and total-cobalamin (tCbl), while with the highest Hcy concentrations, whereas methylmalonic acid (MMA) and holotranscobalamin (Holo-TC) levels remained similar in 9-yo and 17-yo children. The relationships between B-vitamins and metabolic markers were also dependent on age. Only in the older children, MMA correlated with tCbl and Holo-TC, and MMA levels were markedly higher in the 17-yo subjects presenting with the lowest quartiles of Holo-TC concentrations. Lastly, age also impacted on the correlations between genotype and biomarkers. In the 17-yo group, however not in the 9-yo children, tHcy differed between MTHFR 677 genotypes, with subjects who had the MTHFR 677TT genotype displaying the highest tHcy concentrations. Conclusions: Age impacts on the Hcy metabolism dynamics in a pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number646
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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