Folate Transport in Retina and Consequences on Retinal Structure and Function of Hyperhomocysteinemia

S. B. Smith, P. S. Ganapathy, R. B. Bozard, V. Ganapathy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Folate is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and some amino acids. It is required for the proper function of every cell, including those of the retina. This chapter summarizes reported studies of the transport mechanisms by which retinal cells take up folate, including folate receptor α, reduced folate carrier, and proton-coupled folate transporter. It is well known that when folate is deficient, homocysteine levels increase. Genetic mutations can also trigger hyperhomocysteinemia. The second portion of the chapter focuses on the consequences on retina structure and function under conditions of hyperhomocysteinemia. It describes studies in several models in which defects in enzymes associated with the remethylation and transsulfuration pathway are associated with varying degrees of retinal neuropathy and vasculopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Nutrition, Diet and the Eye
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780124046061
ISBN (Print)9780124017177
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2014



  • Folate
  • Folate receptor
  • Folic acid
  • Homocysteine
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Optic neuropathy
  • Proton-coupled folate transporter
  • Reduced folate carrier
  • Retinal Müller cell
  • Retinal pigment epithelial cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Smith, S. B., Ganapathy, P. S., Bozard, R. B., & Ganapathy, V. (2014). Folate Transport in Retina and Consequences on Retinal Structure and Function of Hyperhomocysteinemia. In Handbook of Nutrition, Diet and the Eye (pp. 349-359). Elsevier Inc..