Homocysteine is a non-protein-forming sulphur amino acid that plays an important role in remethylation and trans-sulphuration processes. In recent years, a high plasma homocysteine concentration has been implied as a possible pathophysiological factor in atherosclerosis and artery and deep vein thrombosis, probably through generation of H(2)O(2), enhanced platelet activity and increased production of macrophage-derived tissue factor. Furthermore, an increase of polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) activity mediated by homocysteine-generated H(2)O(2) has also been reported. Because some preliminary experimental results in our laboratory did not confirm this effect of homocysteine on PMNs, we investigated the effect of homocysteine on the activity of PMNs, measured by their luminol-dependent chemiluminescence. Moreover, we also studied the effect of homocysteine in a luminol-hypochlorite chemiluminescent system. Our results clearly indicate that homocysteine at micromol/L concentrations (10-100 micromol/L) slightly inhibits neutrophil chemiluminescence, while it strongly inhibits the luminescence of the luminol-hypochlorite system. Therefore, the hypothesis that homocysteine induces an increase of H(2)O(2)-mediated neutrophil activity is not supported and, probably, the common opinion that views the H(2)O(2) generated by homocysteine as a possible mechanism for cardiovascular damage should be reconsidered.
|Numero di pagine||4|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2000|