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Endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene polymorphism and maternal vascular adaptation to pregnancy

Savvidou, MD; Vallance, PJT; Nicolaides, KH; Hingorani, AD; (2001) Endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene polymorphism and maternal vascular adaptation to pregnancy. HYPERTENSION , 38 (6) 1289 - 1293.

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Abstract

A common polymorphism of the endothelial NO synthase gene that predicts a Glu298Asp amino acid substitution in the mature protein has been associated with cardiovascular disorders in which NO bioactivity is impaired. However, the influence of this polymorphism on endothelial function is unknown. Healthy pregnancy is associated with enhanced endothelium-dependent, flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, a response mediated by NO. In this study, we investigated the effect of the endothelial NO synthase Glu298Asp polymorphism on endothelium-dependent vasodilation in early pregnancy, making the hypothesis that any genotype-dependent differences in NO generation would be more marked during pregnancy, when the production of NO is upregulated. FMD of the brachial artery was recorded during the first trimester in 139 healthy women with normal singleton pregnancies genotyped for the Glu298Asp variant of endothelial NO synthase. Maternal FMD exhibited a codominant inverse relation with the number of Asp298 alleles (r=-0.21, P=0.01). Among homozygotes for endothelial NO synthase Asp298, FMD (7.99+/-1.46%) was significantly lower than that observed among individuals homozygous for endothelial NO synthase Glu298 (10.12+/-3.44) (P=0.002). In a backward stepwise multiple regression analysis, vessel size (P<0.0001) and Glu298Asp polymorphism (P=0.01) were significantly and independently correlated with FMD. Our findings indicate that the endothelial NO synthase Glu298Asp polymorphism is associated with differences in endothelium-dependent dilation at 12-week gestation and are the first to implicate genetic factors in the normal vascular adaptation to pregnancy. They also provide a potential mechanism linking the endothelial NO synthase polymorphism with the development of cardiovascular disorders and have implications for understanding the genetic basis of preeclampsia.

Type:Article
Title:Endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene polymorphism and maternal vascular adaptation to pregnancy
Keywords:nitric oxide synthase, endothelium, pregnancy, MISSENSE GLU298ASP VARIANT, SMOOTH-MUSCLE-CELLS, MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION, ESSENTIAL-HYPERTENSION, MEDIATED VASODILATION, PREECLAMPSIA, ASSOCIATION, POPULATION, INHIBITION, RISK
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Medicine (Division of)
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science

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