Folic acid inhibits 5-methyltetrahydrofolate transport across the blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier: Clinical biochemical data from two cases

Tomoyuki Akiyama, Ichiro Kuki, Kiyohiro Kim, Naohiro Yamamoto, Yumi Yamada, Kazuya Igarashi, Tomohiko Ishihara, Yuya Hatano, Katsuhiro Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The use of folic acid (FA) has been discouraged in cerebral folate deficiency (CFD) because, theoretically, it could inhibit the transport of 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5MTHF) across the blood–cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier. We present the clinical biochemical data of two cases with CFD to support this hypothesis. Methods: We measured CSF and serum 5MTHF concentrations in a patient with Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS) and a patient homozygous for MTHFR C677T polymorphism before and during folate supplementation therapy. To evaluate these 5MTHF concentrations, we also analyzed CSF and serum samples in pediatric patients without folate supplementation. Results: Both patients had low CSF 5MTHF before treatment and high-dose FA therapy did not normalize CSF 5MTHF. There was a dissociation between serum total folate and 5MTHF concentrations during FA therapy, which was considered to be due to the appearance of unmetabolized FA. The addition of folinic acid did not improve low CSF 5MTHF in the KSS patient and the cessation of FA resulted in the normalization of CSF 5MTHF. In the patient homozygous for MTHFR C677T, minimization of the FA dosage resulted in the normalization of CSF 5MTHF and an increased CSF-to-serum 5MTHF ratio. Conclusions: Our data suggest that excess supplementation of FA impaired 5MTHF transport across the blood–CSF barrier. In the treatment of CFD, supplementation of folinic acid or 5MTHF (in cases of impaired 5MTHF synthesis) is preferred over the use of FA. The reference values of CSF 5MTHF concentration based on 600 pediatric cases were also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalJIMD Reports
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid
  • Kearns-Sayre syndrome
  • cerebral folate deficiency
  • folate receptor 1
  • folinic acid
  • methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)

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