Main content area

Plasma Homocysteine and Glycine Are Sensitive Indices of Folate Status in a Rodent Model of Folate Depletion and Repletion

House, James D., O'Connor, Colleen P., Guenter, Wilhelm
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2003 v.51 no.15 pp. 4461-4467
amino acid composition, bioassays, egg yolk, folic acid, homocysteine, models, rats, repletion, temporal variation
The objectives of the current studies included the characterization of the temporal changes in indices of folate status and amino acid concentrations during both folate depletion and repletion phases. In trial 1, a 6 week folate depletion protocol was employed, using 60 weanling rats assigned to receive an amino acid-defined diet with or without 1 mg/kg folic acid. A 4 week folate depletion period was judged to be optimal on the basis of the development of nadirs in both plasma and hepatic folate stores and elevated (>6-fold relative to folate-adequate controls) concentrations of plasma homocysteine and glycine. In trial 2, 54 weanling rats, previously maintained on a folate-devoid diet for 4 weeks, were assigned to receive 0.25 mg/kg folate as either crystalline folic acid or folate from a folate-enriched egg yolk powder. Both forms of folate supported similar rates of gain, increases in plasma and hepatic folate stores, and reductions in plasma glycine concentrations, whereas the folate in egg yolk powder lowered plasma homocysteine concentrations further than the crystalline folic acid (P < 0.05). These data support the use of both plasma glycine and homocysteine as sensitive response criteria for folate status in a rat bioassay of folate depletion and repletion and establish appropriate temporal end-points for such studies.