Oxidation of vitamin B12 by nitrous oxide leads to the inactivation of methionine synthase resulting in elevated plasma total homocysteine concentrations. Methionine synthase reductase is the only human enzyme that is able to reverse the oxidation of vitamin B12, which also occurs naturally by reactive oxygen species. A common polymorphism in methionine synthase reductase, MTRR 66A>G, is associated with reduced enzyme activity. Thus, we hypothesized that patients with this gene variant develop higher plasma total homocysteine concentrations after nitrous oxide anesthesia than wild-type patients.
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