Interactions among methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) and cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) polymorphisms - a cross-sectional study: multiple heterozygosis as a risk factor for higher homocysteine levels and vaso-occlusive episodes.
High plasma homocysteine (Hcy) levels may be responsible for vaso-occlusive episodes and may have acquired and/or genetic causes. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the role of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR; C677T; A1298C) and cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS; T833C/844ins68, G919A) polymorphisms in serum levels of folic acid, vitamin B12 and Hcy, and to verify a possible association between these polymorphisms and the clinical variability. Blood samples of Brazilian patients with a diagnosis of thrombosis were submitted to genotyping by PCR-based methods and serum dosages of folic acid, vitamin B12 and Hcy. Except for the CBS G919A polymorphism, all other genetic markers were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. An increased risk for venous thrombosis was found for the MTHFR 1298CC carriers (OR = 1.688; 95%CI = 0.839-3.398, P = 0.018) and those homozygously mutant for the CBS haplotype 844ins68/T833C (OR = 2.488; 95%CI = 0.501-12.363, P = 0.031), while heterozygous for this CBS haplotype showed an increased risk for higher Hcy levels (OR = 5.900; 95%CI = 1.003-34.691, P = 0.030). Significant interactions were observed among the MTHFR C677T, MTHFR A1298C and CBS haplotype 844ins68/T833C polymorphisms in the results for Hcy levels (P = 0.000), where heterozygous had higher values. Interactions among these polymorphisms can affect serum Hcy levels, where multiple heterozygosis could be a risk factor for vaso-occlusive episodes.