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Roy M , Leclerc D , Wu Q , Gupta S , Kruger WD , Rozen R
Valproic acid increases expression of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and induces lower teratogenicity in MTHFR deficiency
Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2008 Oct;105(2) :467-476
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Valproate (VPA) treatment in pregnancy leads to congenital anomalies, possibly by disrupting folate or homocysteine metabolism. Since methyl enetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a key enzyme of folate interconversion and homocysteine metabolism, we addressed the possibility that VPA might have different teratogenicity in Mthfr(+/+) and Mthfr(+/-) mice and that VPA might interfere with folate metabolism through MTHFR modulation. Mthfr(+/+) and Mthfr(+/-) pregnant mice were injected with VPA on gestational day 8.5; resorption rates and occurrence of neural tube defects (NTDs) were examined on gestational day 14.5. We also examined the effects of VPA on MTHFR expression in HepG2 cells and on MTHFR activity and homocysteine levels in mice. Mthfr(+/+) mice had increased resorption rates (36%) after VPA treatment, compared to saline treatment (100/6), whereas resorption rates were similar in Mthfr(+/-) mice with the two treatments (25-27%). NTDs were only observed in one group (VPA-treated Mthfr(+/+)). In HepG2 cells, VPA increased MTHFR promoter activity and MTHFR mRNA and protein (2.5- and 3.7-fold, respectively). Consistent with cellular MTHFR upregulation by VPA, brain MTHFR enzyme activity was increased and plasma homocysteine was decreased in VPA-treated pregnant mice compared to saline-treated animals. These results underscore the importance of folate interconversion in VPA-induced teratogenicity, since VPA increases MTHFR expression and has lower teratogenic potential in MTHFR deficiency.
Roy, Marc Leclerc, Daniel Wu, Qing Gupta, Sapna Kruger, Warren D. Rozen, Rima WILEY-LISS 356QN