The effects of hydrogen peroxide promoted by homocysteine and inherited catalase deficiency on human hypocatalasemic patients

László Góth, Márta Vitai

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Elevated plasma homocysteine can generate oxygen free radicals and hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme catalase is involved in the protection against hydrogen peroxide. We examined the effect of oxidative stress promoted by homocysteine on erythrocyte metabolism (blood hemoglobin, MCV, folate, B12, serum LDH, LDH isoenzymes, haptoglobin) in the oxidative stress sensitive Hungarian patients with inherited catalase deficiency. The plasma homocysteine (HPLC method, Bio-Rad), folate, B12 (capture binding assay, Abbott), blood hemoglobin concentrations, blood catalase activity (spectrophotometric assay of hydrogen peroxide), and MCV values were determined in 7 hypocatalasemic families including hypocatalasemic (male:12, female:18) patients and their results were compared to those of the normocatalasemic (male:17 female: 12) family members. We found decreased (p < .036) folate (ng/ml) concentrations (male hypocatalasemic 5.44 ± 2.81 vs. normocatalasemic 7.56 ± 1.97, female 5.01 ± 1.93 vs. 6.61 ± 1.91), blood hemoglobin (p < .010, male:140.2 ± 11.0 vs. 153.6 ± 11.6 g/l, female: 128.4 ± 10.9 vs. 139.6 ± 9.2 g/l). Increased levels of MCV (p < .001) were detected in hypocatalasemic patients (male: 98.6 ± 3.4 vs. 90.1 ± 7.5 fl, female: 95.9 ± 3.9 vs. 90.1 ± 2.5 fl), plasma homocysteine (p < .049, male: 9.72 ± 3.61 vs. 7.36 ± 2.10 umol/l, female: 9.06 ± 3.10 vs. 6.84 ± 2.50 umol/l) and not significant (p > .401) plasma B12 (male: 336 ± 108 vs. 307 ± 76 pg/ml, female: 373 ± 180 vs. 342 ± 75 pg/ml). The serum markers of hemolysis (LDH, LDH isoenzymes, haptoglobin) did not show significant (p > .228) signs of oxidative erythrocyte damage. We report firstly on increased plasma homocysteine concentrations in inherited catalase deficiency. The increased plasma homocysteine and inherited catalase deficiency together could promote oxidative stress via hydrogen peroxide. The patients with inherited catalase deficiency are more sensitive to oxidative stress of hydrogen peroxide than the normocatalasemic family members. This oxidative stress might be responsible for the decreased concentration of the blood hemoglobin via the oxidation sensitive folate and may contribute to the early development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-888
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2003


  • Atherosclerosis
  • B12
  • Diabetes
  • Folate
  • Free radicals
  • Homocysteine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hypocatalasemia
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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