Plasma urotensin-2 level and Thr21Met but not Ser89Asn polymorphisms of the urotensin-2 gene are associated with migraines

J Headache Pain. 2016:17:36. doi: 10.1186/s10194-016-0623-z. Epub 2016 Apr 18.


Background: Urotensin-II (U-II) is a peptide recognized by its potent vasoconstrictor activity in many vascular events, however the role of urotensin-II in migraine has not been considered yet. The molecular mechanisms and genetics of migraine have not been fully clarified yet, but it is well-known that vascular changes considerably contribute in pathophysiology of migraine and also its complications. The aim of this study was to analyze the plasma U-II levels along with genotype distributions and allele frequencies for UTS2 Thr21Met and Ser89Asn polymorphisms among the patients with migraine without aura (MWoA).

Methods: One hundred eighty-six patients with MWoA and 171 healthy individuals were included in this study. Plasma U-II levels were measured in attack free period. The genotype and allele frequencies for the Thr21Met (T21M) and Ser89Asn (S89N) polymorphisms in the UTS2 gene were analyzed.

Results: Plasma U-II levels were significantly higher in MWoA patients (p = 0.002). We detected a significant association between the T21M polymorphism in the UTS2 gene and migraine (53.8 % in patients, 40.4 % in controls, p = 0.035), but not with S89N polymorphism (p = 0.620). A significant relationship was found between U-II levels and MIDAS score (β = 0.508, p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Our study suggests that U-II may play a role in migraine pathogenesis; also Thr21Met polymorphism was associated with the risk of migraine disease. Further studies are needed for considering the role of U-II in migraine pathophysiology and for deciding if UTS2 gene may be a novel candidate gene in migraine cases.

Keywords: ELISA; Migraine without aura; Ser89Asn; Thr21Met; UTS2 gene polymorphisms; Urotensin-2.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / blood*
  • Migraine Disorders / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Urotensins / blood*
  • Urotensins / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Urotensins
  • urotensin II