Associations of methyl donor and methylation inhibitor levels during anti-oxidant therapy in heart failure

Jacob Joseph, Anna Giczewska, Brooke Alhanti, Amrita K. Cheema, Diane E. Handy, Douglas L. Mann, Joseph Loscalzo, Michael M. Givertz

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1 Scopus citations


Redox balance and methylation are crucial to homeostasis and are linked by the methionine-homocysteine cycle. We examined whether differences in methylation potential, measured as plasma levels of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) and S-adenosyl homocysteine (SAH), occur at baseline and during anti-oxidant therapy with the xanthine oxidase inhibitor allopurinol in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. We analyzed plasma samples collected at baseline and 24 weeks in the Xanthine Oxidase Inhibition for Hyperuricemic Heart Failure Patients (EXACT-HF) study, which randomized patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction to allopurinol or placebo. Associations between plasma levels of SAM, SAH, SAM/SAH ratio, and outcomes, including laboratory markers and clinical events, were assessed. Despite randomization, median SAM levels were significantly lower at baseline in the allopurinol group. SAH levels at 24 weeks, and change in SAM from baseline to week 24, were significantly higher in the group of patients randomized to allopurinol compared to the placebo group. A significant correlation was observed between change in SAH levels and change in plasma uric acid (baseline to 24-week changes) in the allopurinol group. There were no significant associations between levels of SAM, SAH, and SAM/SAH ratio and clinical outcomes. Our results demonstrate significant biological variability in SAM and SAH levels at baseline and during treatment with an anti-oxidant and suggest a potential mechanism for the lack of efficacy observed in trials of anti-oxidant therapy. These data also highlight the need to explore personalized therapy for heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Anti-oxidant therapy
  • Heart failure
  • Methylation
  • Redox balance


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