Impact of dietary supplementation of one-carbon metabolism on neural recovery

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Date: July 2017
From: Neural Regeneration Research(Vol. 12, Issue 7)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 2,267 words
Lexile Measure: 1430L

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Byline: Joshua. Emmerson, Lauren. Murray, Nafisa. Jadavji

In the cell, one-carbon metabolism modulates nucleotide synthesis, DNA repair, as well as methylation through the reduction of homocysteine [Figure 1]. High levels of plasma homocysteine have been associated with negative health outcomes in humans (Murray et al. , 2017). Folates, B-vitamins, are a major component of one-carbon metabolism and play an important role in brain function. Specifically, they are involved in nucleotide synthesis, DNA repair, methylation, second messenger systems, ion channels, protein, and neurotransmitter synthesis, as well as the metabolism of homocysteine (Murray et al. , 2017). Folate is the natural form found in foods, whereas folic acid is the chemically synthesized and often found in supplements. In 1998, the importance of folates was noted in the prevention of neural tube defects by both the Canadian and US governments and mandatory folic acid fortification laws were put into place. The neuroprotective properties of folic acid during development suggest that it may modulate growth and differentiation in the brain. Another component of one-carbon metabolism is the nutrient choline. In the brain, choline's primary role is in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, and lipid metabolism. In the rest of the body, choline also generates a methyl group to remethylate homocysteine to methionine. This reaction is done to a lesser extent in the brain.{Figure 1}

Dietary supplementation using components of one-carbon metabolism in patients diagnosed with different neurological diseases might be effective in managing symptoms or reducing disease progression. A study published in 2010 reported that B-vitamin supplementation for 2 years reduced brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment within the UK (Smith et al. , 2010). More recently, a clinical study in China showed that hypertensive patients treated with Enalapril and folic acid for 4.5 years had a reduced risk of developing a stroke compared to those treated with enalapril alone (Huo et al. , 2015). Both these studies were conducted in countries that do not have mandatory folic acid fortification laws in place. It is important to note that not all individuals benefit from mandatory folic acid fortification. For example, individuals with a polymorphism in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) cannot reduce folic acid as effectively as someone without the polymorphism and therefore have increased levels of homocysteine. Interestingly, there are alternative ways to reduce homocysteine levels. For example, cytidine 5-′-diphosphocholine (CDP-choline), a metabolite of choline, has been reported to aid in neural repair in the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as increase levels of acetylcholine (Arenth et al. , 2011). The mechanisms through which one-carbon supplementation may change the brain to reduce disease severity are not well understood.

We recently reported that supplementation with components of one-carbon metabolism after ischemic damage to the sensorimotor cortex increased neuroplasticity and anti-oxidant activity at the damage site as well as reduced sensorimotor impairment in a mouse model (Jadavji et al. , 2017). The mice in our study were maintained on a folic acid deficient diet prior to damage to increase levels of plasma...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A500050083