Introduction: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterised by disturbed vessel morphology and an overproduction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The VEGF gene located on chromosome 6p21.3 has several polymorphisms. Objective: To test the hypothesis that disturbed angiogenesis may be related to the genetic background of the VEGF gene. Materials and methods: EUSTAR centres included European Caucasian patients with SSc and matched controls with osteoarthritis. The VEGF gene was genotyped by polymerase chain reaction, followed by restriction enzyme analysis. The 634 C/T and 936 C/G mutations and an 18-base pair insertion/deletion at -2549 of the VEGF promoter region were tested. Results: 416 patients with SSc and 249 controls were included in the study population. Of the patients with SSc, 42% had a diffuse cutaneous subtype, 16% had increased pulmonary arterial pressure and 61% had decreased carbon monoxide diffusion capacity. The genotype frequencies in the patients with SSc and in controls were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The allele and genotype frequencies of the polymorphisms did not differ between patients with SSc and controls. No association was found between these polymorphisms and disease phenotypes. Conclusion: This study shows that there is no association between the three selected functional VEGF polymorphisms and SSc.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)