Hyperhomocysteinemia is an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease and associated with insulin resistance, although their causal relationship remains unclear. A previous report has shown that high concentration of homocysteine damages mitochondrial gene expression, function and structure. As we found recently, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) contents are inversely correlated with insulin resistance parameters. Thus there is possibility that plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) level is somewhat correlated with mtDNA content. Sixty healthy women (mean age 40.3±20.9 yr, range 18-78 yr) were recruited to investigate the correlation of plasma tHcy level and mtDNA content in peripheral blood. A significant negative correlation was found between plasma tHcy levels and mtDNA content (r=-0.507, P<0.01). Plasma tHcy and mtDNA content have an independent effect on each other and on insulin resistance (HOMA-insulin resistance (IR) score) respectively in multiple regression model. Plasma tHcy showed positive correlations with age (r=0.407), W/H ratio (r=0.370), total cholesterol (r=0.338), LDL-cholesterol (r=0.317) and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR score) (r=0.261); and a negative correlation with folate (r=-0.273). MtDNA content showed negative correlations with age (r=-0.407), BMI (r=-0.440), W/H ratio (r=-0.659), SBP (r=-0.350), total cholesterol (r=-0.340), triglyceride (r=-0.376), LDL-cholesterol (r=-0.349), fasting plasma insulin (r=-0.483), and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR score) (r=-0.423); and a positive correlation with folate (r=0.299). In this study, there was a significant inverse correlation between plasma tHcy level and mtDNA content. Further study will be warranted to elucidate the mechanism by which two factors are associated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine