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Does disturbed homocysteine and folate metabolism in depression result from enhanced oxidative stress?
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  1. B WIDNER,
  2. D FUCHS
  1. Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry
  2. Fritz Pregl Strasse 3, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria;
  3. University of Innsbruck, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of AIDS-Research, Innsbruck, Austria
  4. Department of Gerontology, Landesnervenklinik Wagner-Jauregg, Linz, Austria
  5. Department of Psychiatry
  6. University of Innsbruck, Austria
  1. Dr D Fuchs Dietmar.Fuchs{at}uibk.ac.at
  1. F LEBLHUBER
  1. Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry
  2. Fritz Pregl Strasse 3, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria;
  3. University of Innsbruck, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of AIDS-Research, Innsbruck, Austria
  4. Department of Gerontology, Landesnervenklinik Wagner-Jauregg, Linz, Austria
  5. Department of Psychiatry
  6. University of Innsbruck, Austria
  1. Dr D Fuchs Dietmar.Fuchs{at}uibk.ac.at
  1. B SPERNER-UNTERWEGER
  1. Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry
  2. Fritz Pregl Strasse 3, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria;
  3. University of Innsbruck, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of AIDS-Research, Innsbruck, Austria
  4. Department of Gerontology, Landesnervenklinik Wagner-Jauregg, Linz, Austria
  5. Department of Psychiatry
  6. University of Innsbruck, Austria
  1. Dr D Fuchs Dietmar.Fuchs{at}uibk.ac.at

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In their recent article, Bottiglieriet al describe increased homocysteine concomitant with decreased folate concentrations in a subgroup of patients with depression.1 In addition, some relation between reduced folate availability and disturbed monoamine metabolism was found. The close relation between increased homocysteine and reduced folate concentrations, which was described previously in other clinical conditions such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases is usually ascribed to a reduced dietary intake of folate, and dietary supplementation with folate is capable of reducing hyperhomocysteinaemia.

The coincidence described of disturbed homocysteine and monoamine metabolism may shed some additional light to the possible mechanism underlying this metabolic abnormality. Both metabolic pathways depend on the presence of reduced pteridine species: (1) the biosynthesis of methionine requires supply of methyl groups from methyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolic acid, deficiency of which …

Dr E H Reynolds reynolds{at}buckles.u-net.com

Dr E H Reynolds reynolds{at}buckles.u-net.com

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