Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 372–383 | Cite as

Causes of hyperhomocysteinemia and its pathological significance

  • Jihyun Kim
  • Hyunhee Kim
  • Heewon Roh
  • Youngjoo KwonEmail author


In the last 10 years, homocysteine has been regarded as a marker of cardiovascular disease and a definite risk factor for many other diseases. Homocysteine is biosynthesized from methionine through multiple steps and then goes through one of two major metabolic pathways: remethylation and transsulfuration. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a state in which too much homocysteine is present in the body. The main cause of hyperhomocysteinemia is a dysfunction of enzymes and cofactors associated with the process of homocysteine biosynthesis. Other causes include excessive methionine intake, certain diseases and side effects of some drugs. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a trigger for many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss. There are many studies showing a positive relationship between homocysteine level and various symptoms. We speculate that a high level of homocysteine can be the sole reason or an aggravating factor in numerous diseases for which causal links are not fully understood.


Homocysteine Hyperhomocysteinemia Disease caused by hyperhomocysteinemia 



This study was supported by a Grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C2469).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jihyun Kim
    • 1
  • Hyunhee Kim
    • 1
  • Heewon Roh
    • 1
  • Youngjoo Kwon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ewha Institute for Global Pharmacy Leadership, College of PharmacyEwha Womans UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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