A dopamine D4 receptor exon 3 VNTR allele protecting against migraine without aura.
ABSTRACT As dopamine plays an important role in the pathophysiology of migraine and antimigraine drugs have an effect on the dopamine system, the objective of this study was to examine the dopamine D4 receptor gene for involvement in the cause of migraine.
We tested a VNTR-polymorphism in the dopamine D4 receptor gene, the exon 3 VNTR, in a sample of 190 family trios each with a proband with childhood migraine by using transmission disequilibrium test tests.
We found a trend for transmission distortion of this marker in migraine, with the common seven-repeat allele of the VNTR transmitted 58 times and not transmitted 82 times (global likelihood ratio score (LRS) = 12.27, degress of freedom (DF) = 6, p = 0.06; for the 7-repeat allele: chi(2) = 5.1, p = 0.02). This effect came only from migraine without aura (145 trios), with the common 7-repeat allele transmitted 45 times and not transmitted 69 times (global LRS = 15.18; DF = 6, p = 0.019; for the 7-repeat allele: chi(2) = 6.4, p = 0.01; odds ratio, 0.47), whereas in migraine with aura (45 trios) there was no transmission distortion of the 7-repeat allele.
We conclude that seven-repeat allele of the dopamine D4 receptor VNTR is a protective factor for migraine without aura. Because migraine is a common disorder, this protective effect may have contributed to the positive selection acting on the dopamine D4 receptor exon 3 VNTR seven-repeat allele in recent human history. We speculate that dopamine function in the lateral parabrachial nucleus is involved in migraine without aura.
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ABSTRACT: Associations have been reported of the seven-repeat (7R) allele of the human dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene with both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the personality trait of novelty seeking. This polymorphism occurs in a 48-bp tandem repeat in the coding region of DRD4, with the most common allele containing four repeats (4R) and rarer variants containing 2-11. Here we show by DNA resequencing/haplotyping of 600 DRD4 alleles, representing a worldwide population sample, that the origin of 2R-6R alleles can be explained by simple one-step recombination/mutation events. In contrast, the 7R allele is not simply related to the other common alleles, differing by greater than six recombinations/mutations. Strong linkage disequilibrium was found between the 7R allele and surrounding DRD4 polymorphisms, suggesting that this allele is at least 5-10-fold "younger" than the common 4R allele. Based on an observed bias toward nonsynonymous amino acid changes, the unusual DNA sequence organization, and the strong linkage disequilibrium surrounding the DRD4 7R allele, we propose that this allele originated as a rare mutational event that nevertheless increased to high frequency in human populations by positive selection.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2002; 99(1):309-14. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The dopamine theory of migraine pathogenesis, first proposed by F. Sicuteri in 1977, has attracted renewed interest after an increased frequency of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene allele NcoI C was found in patients with migraine with aura. Therefore we reviewed the relevant literature. The most compelling argument favoring an interictal hypersensitivity of dopamine receptors in migraineurs stems from pharmacologic studies of the gastric and autonomic effects of dopaminergic agents such as apomorphine, but none of these studies was blinded and placebo-controlled. Various DRD2 antagonists abort migraine attacks after parenteral administration, while there is circumstantial evidence that dopamine agonists may be useful for prophylaxis. Most drugs used in these trials, however, lack selectivity for dopamine receptors. Both in pharmacological and therapeutic studies most patients had migraine without aura. We conclude that data suggesting a primary role for the dopaminergic system in migraine pathogenesis are unconvincing. Based on well established interactions between central amines, a reduced release of serotonin between attacks could lower dopamine release which would lead to receptor hypersensitivity.Cephalalgia 06/1998; 18(4):174-82. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a particular genotype of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene would affect the clinical features of migraine. In a group of 118 migraineurs (55 migraine with aura and 63 migraine without aura patients), we tested the association of the biallelic C/T NcoI DRD2 polymorphism with several characteristics of the disease. Genotype and allele frequencies resulted similarly distributed in migraine with aura and migraine without aura patients (chi2 = 1.58, P = 0.45 and chi2 = 0.09, P = 0.77, respectively). The different DRD2 genotypes (C/C, C/T and T/T) had no significant effects on age at onset of migraine, presence of premonitory phenomena, frequency of headache attacks, associated symptoms, psychological features and quality of life of our migraine patients. The results of our study do not support a role for the DRD2 gene in modifying the clinical features of migraine.Cephalalgia 07/2004; 24(6):503-7. · 3.49 Impact Factor