Home > Journals > Panminerva Medica > Past Issues > Panminerva Medica 2004 September;46(3) > Panminerva Medica 2004 September;46(3):161-4





A Journal on Internal Medicine

Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,698




Panminerva Medica 2004 September;46(3):161-4


language: English

Pro-oxidant activity and methionine metabolism in chronic alcohol abusers: relationship to alcohol withdrawal and folate administration

Trotti R. 1, Carratelli M. 2, Bo P. 3, Barbieri M. 4, Mangiagalli A. 5, Samuele A. 5, Gabanti E. 1, Blandini F. 5

1 Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry Neurological Institute “C. Mondino” IRCCS, Pavia 2 Diacron s.r.l., Grosseto 3 Center for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Neurological Institute “C. Mondino” IRCCS, Pavia 4 Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry Clinical Institute “Prof. E. Morelli”, Pavia 5 Laboratory of Functional Neurochemistry Neurological Institute “C. Mondino” IRCCS, Pavia, Italy


Aim. The aim of ­this ­study was to inves­ti­gate wheth­er alco­hol with­draw­al and ­folate admin­is­tra­tion ­could ­play a ­role on ­redox bal­ance and metio­nine metab­olism in ­heavy drink­ers.
Methods. The deriv­a­tives of reac­tive oxy­gen metab­olites (d-ROMs), homo­cys­teine, ­total thi­ols, vita­min B12 and ­folate ­were eval­u­at­ed in a select­ed ­group of 40 con­sec­u­tive chron­ic alco­hol abus­ers by com­par­i­son ­with 44 ­healthy mod­er­ate drink­ers, as con­trols.
Results. Before alco­hol with­draw­al, d-ROMs ­were sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er (p<0.0001) in ­heavy drink­ers ­than in con­trols: 368.5 (254.8-718.6) U.­CARR vs 245 (200.7-360) U.­CARR, respec­tive­ly, ­median ­with ­range. Plasma homo­cys­teine ­were sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er in alco­hol­ics ­than in mod­er­ate drink­ers (p<0.0001): 18 (9.5-82.2) µmol/L vs 9.1 (4.9-19.6) µmol/L, respec­tive­ly. Heavy drink­ers ­also exhib­it­ed high­er ser­um thi­ols ­than mod­er­ate drink­ers (p<0.003): 605.8 (448.2-717.7) µmol/L vs 554.8 (508.3-658.4) µmol/L, respec­tive­ly. The ­patients ­showed low­er plas­ma ­folate ­than con­trols (p<0.0001): 4.1 (1.9-9.7) ng/mL vs 8.8 (5.0-8.4) ng/mL, respec­tive­ly, but sim­i­lar vita­min B12 lev­els: 487 (299-786) pg/mL 621 (243-894) pg/mL. A neg­a­tive cor­re­la­tion ­between homo­cys­teine and ­folate was ­observed ­before with­draw­al in alco­hol­ics (r=-0.4546, p<0.038). Both ser­um thi­ols (549.7 µmol/L, ­range 402.4-616.6 µmol/L) and homo­cys­tei­ne­mia (6.6 µmol/L, ­range 2.9-18.5 µmol/L) ­were sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­decreased (p<0.0001 and p<0.022, respec­tive­ly) ­after a ­week of alco­hol with­draw­al and ­folate admin­is­tra­tion.
Conclusion. Our find­ings ­show ­that ­both ­enhanced pro-oxi­dant activ­ity and a derange­ment of methi­o­nine metab­olism can be ­observed in ­heavy drink­ers ­before alco­hol with­draw­al and ­folate admin­is­tra­tion. Furthermore, ­folate ­seems to be a ­strong deter­mi­nant of ­both plas­ma homo­cys­teine and thi­ol con­cen­tra­tions.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Corresponding author e-mail