Investigation of hormone receptor genes in migraine
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Migraine is a common neurological condition with a complex mode of inheritance. Steroid hormones have long been implicated in migraine, although their role remains unclear. Our investigation considered that genes involved in hormonal pathways may play a role in migraine susceptibility. We therefore investigated the androgen receptor (AR) CAG repeat, and the progesterone receptor (PR) PROGINS insert by cross-sectional association analysis. The results showed no association with the AR CAG repeat in our study group of 275 migraineurs and 275 unrelated controls. Results of the PR PROGINS analysis showed a significant difference in the same cohort, and in an independent follow-up study population of 300 migraineurs and 300 unrelated controls. Analysis of the genotypic risk groups of both populations together indicated that individuals who carried the PROGINS insert were 1.8 times more likely to suffer migraine. Interaction analysis of the PROGINS variant with our previously reported associated ESR1 594A variant showed that individuals who possessed at least one copy of both risk alleles were 3.2 times more likely to suffer migraine. Hence, variants of these steroid hormone receptor genes appear to act synergistically to increase the risk of migraine by a factor of three.