Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating neuro- inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Genetic predisposition has long been suspected in the etiology of this disease. The association between MTHFR polymorphisms and MS has been ivestigated in different ethnic groups. We investigated the association between MTHFR C677T and A1298C missense variants and MS in 180 patients and 231 age- and gender-matched healthy controls in a Southern Iranian population. The mutagenically separated PCR (MS-PCR) and PCR-RFLP methods were used to genotype MTHFR at position 677 and 1298, respectively. Compared with controls, we observed a strong association between two MTHFR variants and the risk of developing MS. Subjects carrying 677T allele (CT and TT genotypes) had increased susceptibility to MS as compared to those carrying CC genotype (odds ratio (OR) for CT= 2.9, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)= 1.88-4.49; OR for TT= 6.23, 95% CI= 3.08-12.59). The variant 1298AC genotype also increased the risk for MS among our study population (OR= 2.14, 95% CI= 1.37-3.34). Combined genotype analysis for two MTHFR SNPs revealed that compared to the wild type genotypes (677CC/1298AA), 3 genotypes including TT/AC, CT/AC, and TT/AA were significantly at increased risk for MS development (OR= 13.9, 5.3, and 4.9, respectively). Our results suggest a possible gene dose- dependent association between MTHFR mutrant alleles and the risk of MS development.
Keywords: MTHFR; Multiple sclerosis; SNP; genotype.