Aims/hypothesis: Genetic and epidemiological studies suggest an association between gestational diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes. Both are polygenic multifactorial disorders characterised by beta cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. Our aim was to investigate whether common genetic variants that have previously been associated with type 2 diabetes or related phenotypes would also confer risk for gestational diabetes mellitus.
Materials and methods: In 1,881 unrelated pregnant Scandinavian women (649 women with gestational diabetes mellitus, 1,232 non-diabetic control subjects) we genotyped the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2 rs7903146), adiponectin (ADIPOQ +276G > T), peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor, gamma 2 (PPARG Pro12Ala), PPARG-coactivator, 1 alpha (PPARGC1A Gly482Ser), forkhead box C2 (FOXC2 -512C > T) and beta3-adrenergic receptor (ADRB3 Trp64Arg) polymorphisms using TaqMan allelic discrimination assay or RFLP.
Results: The CC, CT and TT genotype frequencies of the TCF7L2 rs7903146 variant differed significantly between women with gestational diabetes mellitus and control women (46.3, 43.6 and 10.1% vs 58.5, 35.3 and 6.2%, p = 3.7 x 10(-6), corrected p value [Pc] for multiple testing Pc = 2.2 x 10(-5)). The T-allele was associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (odds ratio 1.49 [95% CI 1.28-1.75], p = 4.9 x 10(-7) [Pc = 2.8 x 10(-6)]). Compared with wild-type CC-genotype carriers, heterozygous (CT-genotype) and homozygous (TT-genotype) carriers had a 1.6-fold (95% CI 1.26-1.93, p = 3.7 x 10(-5) [Pc = 0.0002]) and a 2.1-fold (95% CI 1.41-2.99, p = 0.0001 [Pc = 0.0008]) increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, respectively. The other polymorphisms studied were not significantly associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (ADIPOQ +276G > T: 1.17 [1.01-1.36], p = 0.039 [Pc = 0.23]; PPARG Pro12Ala: 1.06 [0.87-1.29], p = 0.53; PPARGC1A Gly482Ser: 0.96 [0.83-1.10], p = 0.54; FOXC2 -512C > T: 1.01 [0.87-1.16], p = 0.94; and ADRB3 Trp64Arg: 1.22 [0.95-1.56], p = 0.12).
Conclusions/interpretation: The TCF7L2 rs7903146 variant is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus in Scandinavian women.