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Physiological Genomics
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 42  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 259 - 265

Lack of carotid stiffening associated with MTHFR 677TT genotype in cardiorespiratory fit adults

M Iemitsu, H Murakami, K Sanada, K Yamamoto, H Kawano, Y Gando and M. Miyachi    

Abstract:

The TT genotype of C677T polymorphism in 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) induces elevation of homocysteine level and leads to atherosclerosis and arterial stiffening. Furthermore, cardiorespiratory fitness level is also associated with arterial stiffness. In the present study, a cross-sectional investigation of 763 Japanese men and women (18–70 yr old) was performed to clarify the effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on the relationship between arterial stiffness and MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism. Arterial stiffness was assessed by carotid β-stiffness with ultrasonography and tonometry. The study subjects were divided into high-cardiorespiratory fitness (High-Fit) and low-cardiorespiratory fitness (Low-Fit) groups based on the median value of peak oxygen uptake in each sex and decade. The plasma homocysteine level was higher in the TT genotype of MTHFR C677T polymorphism compared with CC and CT genotype individuals. MTHFR C677T polymorphism showed no effect on carotid β-stiffness, but there was a significant interaction effect between fitness and MTHFR C677T polymorphism on carotid β-stiffness (P = 0.0017). In the Low-Fit subjects, carotid β-stiffness was significantly higher in individuals with the TT genotype than the CC and CT genotypes. However, there were no such differences in High-Fit subjects. In addition, β-stiffness and plasma homocysteine levels were positively correlated in Low-Fit subjects with the TT genotype (r = 0.71, P < 0.0001), but no such correlations were observed in High-Fit subjects. In CC and CT genotype individuals, there were also no such correlations in either fitness level. These results suggest that the higher cardiorespiratory fitness may attenuate central artery stiffening associated with MTHFR C677T polymorphism.

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