A low COMT activity haplotype is associated with recurrent preeclampsia in a Norwegian population cohort (HUNT2)

Mol Hum Reprod. 2011 Jul;17(7):439-46. doi: 10.1093/molehr/gar014. Epub 2011 Feb 25.


The etiology of preeclampsia is complex, with susceptibility being attributable to multiple environmental factors and a large genetic component. Although many candidate genes for preeclampsia have been suggested and studied, the specific causative genes still remain to be identified. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme involved in catecholamine and estrogen degradation and has recently been ascribed a role in development of preeclampsia. In the present study, we have examined the COMT gene by genotyping the functional Val108/158Met polymorphism (rs4680) and an additional single-nucleotide polymorphism, rs6269, predicting COMT activity haplotypes in a large Norwegian case/control cohort (n(cases)= 1135, n(controls)= 2262). A low COMT activity haplotype is associated with recurrent preeclampsia in our cohort. This may support the role of redox-regulated signaling and oxidative stress in preeclampsia pathogenesis as suggested by recent studies in a genetic mouse model. The COMT gene might be a genetic risk factor shared between preeclampsia and cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Norway
  • Pre-Eclampsia / genetics*
  • Pregnancy
  • Whites


  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase