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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Excess dietary methionine does not affect fracture healing in mice

Joerg H. Holstein, Julia Schmalenbach, Markus Herrmann, Ilona Ölkü, Patric Garcia, Tina Histing, Wolfgang Herrmann, Michael D. Menger, Tim Pohlemann, Lutz Claes

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(12): BR469-474

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883590

Available online:

Published: 2012-12-01


Background:    An elevated serum concentration of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia) has been shown to disturb fracture healing. As the essential amino acid, methionine, is a precursor of homocysteine, we aimed to investigate whether excess methionine intake affects bone repair.
    Material/Methods:    We analyzed bone repair in 2 groups of mice. One group was fed a methionine-rich diet (n=13), and the second group received an equicaloric control diet without methionine supplementation (n=12). Using a closed femoral fracture model, bone repair was analyzed by histomorphometry and biomechanical testing at 4 weeks after fracture. Blood was sampled to measure serum concentrations of homocysteine, the bone formation marker osteocalcin, and the bone resorption marker collagen I C-terminal crosslaps
    Results:    Serum concentrations of homocysteine were significantly higher in the methionine group than in the control group, while serum markers of bone turnover did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Histomorphometry revealed no significant differences in size and tissue composition of the callus between animals fed the methionine-enriched diet and those receiving the control diet. Accordingly, animals of the 2 groups showed a comparable bending stiffness of the healing bones.
    Conclusions:    We conclude that excess methionine intake causes hyperhomocysteinemia, but does not affect fracture healing in mice.

Keywords: Methionine - pharmacology, Metabolic Networks and Pathways - drug effects, Homocysteine - blood, Fracture Healing - drug effects, Femur - radiography, Diet, Dietary Supplements, Collagen Type I - blood, Biomechanical Phenomena - drug effects, Animals, Mice, Osteocalcin - blood, Peptides - blood