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Polymorphisms of adrenergic cardiovascular control genes are associated with adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome

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Abstract Aim: 

To explore the frequency of polymorphisms in adrenergic cardiovascular control genes in adolescent with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and the relation of such polymorphisms to cardiovascular variables. Methods: 

DNA from 53 patients with CFS, 12–18 years old, was analysed for five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), the β2-adrenergic receptor (two SNPs), the β1-adrenergic receptor and the α2a-adrenergic receptor. Frequencies were compared to a reference population constructed from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, and associations between frequencies and autonomic cardiovascular responses during a 20° head-uptilt-test were explored. Results: 

For the COMT SNP Rs4680, patients with CFS had a higher frequency of the AA genotype and a lower frequency of the G containing genotypes (AG and GG), when compared to the reference sample (p = 0.046). Also, the AA genotype was associated with a smaller increase in LF/HF ratio (low-frequency:high-frequency heart rate variability ratio, an index of cardiac sympathovagal balance) during head-up tilt when compared to the AG/GG genotypes. For the β2-adrenergic receptor SNP Rs1042714, patients with CFS had a lower frequency of the GG genotype and a higher frequency of the genotypes containing C (CG and CC) (p = 0.044). Conclusions: 

CFS might be related to polymorphisms of COMT and the β2-adrenergic receptor. More details of the molecular mechanisms remain to be investigated.
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Keywords: Adolescents; Autonomic nervous system; Cardiovascular control genes; Chronic fatigue syndrome; Polymorphisms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Paediatrics, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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