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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Valproic acid-induced neural tube defects: reduction by folinic acid in the mouse.

Neural tube defects were induced dose-dependently by single injections of the anticonvulsant drug valproic acid (VPA) as sodium salt in mice on gestational day 8. Folinic acid (5-CHO-THF) coadministration by i.p. injection or by a constant rate infusion via osmotic minipumps, implanted s.c., significantly reduced the exencephaly rates using a randomized double-blind experimental procedure. 5-CHO-THF supplementation cut the exencephaly rates into half even at high maternal plasma levels of VPA (p less than 0.005, chi 2-test); resorption rates were not affected. The VPA plasma kinetics were not changed by any of the application regimens of 5-CHO-THF. The investigation of the folate metabolite pattern (determined by HPLC) showed that 5-CHO-THF and 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolic acid (5-CH3-THF) were the main metabolites in untreated mice. After supplementation with 5-CHO-THF, only the concentrations of this folate vitamer were increased in the plasma from 0.3 microgram/ml (normal) to 0.6 or 1.9 micrograms/ml (after injection of 3 x 1 mg/kg or 3 X 4 mg/kg) and to 4.2 micrograms/ml (after infusion via osmotic minipumps). Our results indicate that VPA-induced exencephaly in mice combined with the investigation of the plasma levels of VPA and the different folate metabolites could be an appropriate animal model to study protective effects of folates on the occurrence of neural tube defects.[1]


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