Associations have been reported between estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) gene polymorphisms and various pathological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases. Our aim was to investigate whether two polymorphisms of the ESR1 gene (ESR1 c.454 -397T>C: PvuII restriction site and c.454 -351A>G: XbaI restriction site) are associated with preeclampsia. In a case-control study, we analyzed blood samples from 119 severely preeclamptic patients and 103 normotensive, healthy pregnant women using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method. All of the women were Caucasian. There was no association between severe preeclampsia and the PvuII and XbaI ESR1 gene polymorphisms separately. However, with the simultaneous carriage of both polymorphisms, the TT/AA genotype combination was significantly more frequent in severely preeclamptic patients than in healthy control subjects (24.4% vs. 9.7%, p=0.003), whereas the TT/AG combination was significantly less frequent in the severely preeclamptic group than in the control group (5.0% vs. 18.4%, p=0.002). According to the haplotype estimation, the homozygous T-A haplotype carriers had an increased risk of severe preeclampsia independent of maternal age, prepregnancy BMI, primiparity and smoking status (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 4.36, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.65-11.53). The GG genotype of the XbaI polymorphism was associated with a lower risk of fetal growth restriction in patients with severe preeclampsia (OR: 0.23, 95% CI: 0.07-0.73). In conclusion, the homozygous T-A haplotype carriers of ESR1 PvuII and XbaI polymorphisms showed an increased risk of severe preeclampsia. In addition, the GG genotype of the XbaI polymorphism decreased the risk of fetal growth restriction in severely preeclamptic patients.
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