Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate levels of homocysteine (Hcy), folate, vitamin B12, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and to assess relationship between Hcy levels and inflammatory mediators including IL-6 and TNF-α in untreated patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: The study included 55 women including 30 newly diagnosed and untreated female RA patients and 25 age-matched healthy individuals as controls.
Results: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESH), C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6 and TNF-α levels were significantly higher in RA patients than controls (p<0.05). Homocysteine levels were higher in RA group when compared to controls; however, folate and vitamin B12 levels were not different between groups (p>0.05). There were no significant correlations between Hcy levels and acute phase reactants or inflammatory mediators (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Both mediators such as IL-6 and TNF-α and hyper-homocysteinemia are associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. There was no significant correlation between Hcy levels and inflammatory mediators, although levels of these molecules were elevated in RA. Both inflammatory mediators and Hcy may cause an increase in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disorders through diverse pathways.