Objective: Elevated homocysteine concentrations are a risk factor for stroke. A common genetic polymorphism in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR 677 C→T) results in elevated levels of homocysteine. MTHFR plays a critical role in the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a global methyl donor. Our previous work has demonstrated that Mthfr+/- mice, which model the MTHFR polymorphism in humans, are more vulnerable to ischemic damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the cellular mechanisms by which the MTHFR-deficiency changes the brain in the context of ischemic stroke injury. Methods: In the present study, three-month-old male Mthfr+/- and wild-type littermate mice were subjected to photothrombosis (PT) damage. Four weeks after PT damage, animals were tested on behavioral tasks, in vivo imaging was performed using T2-weighted MRI, and brain tissue was collected for histological analysis. Results:Mthfr+/- animals used their non-impaired forepaw more to explore the cylinder and had a larger damage volume compared to wild-type littermates. In brain tissue of Mthfr+/- mice methionine adenosyltransferase II alpha (MAT2A) protein levels were decreased within the damage hemisphere and increased levels in hypoxia-induced factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) in non-damage hemisphere. There was an increased antioxidant response in the damage site as indicated by higher levels of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in neurons and astrocytes and neuronal superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) levels. Conclusions: Our results suggest that Mthfr+/- mice are more vulnerable to PT-induced stroke damage through the regulation of the cellular response. The increased antioxidant response we observed may be compensatory to the damage amount.

Additional Metadata
Keywords antioxidant, homocysteine, Ischemic stroke, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, one-carbon metabolism
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2020.1769412
Journal Nutritional Neuroscience
Citation
Abato, J.E. (Jamie E.), Moftah, M. (Mahira), Cron, G.O. (Greg O.), Smith, P, & Jadavji, N.M. (Nafisa M.). (2020). Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency alters cellular response after ischemic stroke in male mice. Nutritional Neuroscience. doi:10.1080/1028415X.2020.1769412