Low maternal folate concentrations and maternal MTHFR C677T polymorphism are associated with an increased risk for neural tube defects in offspring: a case-control study among Pakistani case and control mothers




Nuzhat Nauman;Samina Jalali;Sajjad Shami;Shireen Rafiq;Greta Große;Alina C Hilger;Rhong Zhang;Saira Mansoor;Michael Ludwig;Heiko Reutter

Key Words

folate ; blood folate concentrations ; neural tube defects ; MTHFR ; case-control study


Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

27卷1期(2018 / 01 / 01)

Page #

253 - 260

Content Language


Chinese Abstract

Background and Objectives: There is considerable evidence that periconceptional maternal folate deficiency and coding variants in maternal genes coding for critical enzymes in the folate pathway are associated with neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. In a case-control study we investigated C677T polymorphism in the 5,10- methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in case and control mothers of Pakistani origin, and compared these with the respective maternal folate concentrations measured at the time of delivery. Methods and Study Design: A case-control study was conducted among 109 case and 100 control mothers identified through the Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. Red blood cell (RBC) and serum folate concentrations and MTHFRC677T polymorphism were compared between case and control mothers. Results: Mean RBC folate and serum folate concentrations were significantly lower in cases compared with control mothers (p<0.0001). Maternal MTHFR 677CT and 677TT genotypes were more common among cases compared with control mothers (CC vs TT p<0.0393 and CC/CT vs TT p<0.021). T-allele frequency was higher in cases compared with control mothers (C vs T p<0.017). Case mothers with 677CT or 677TT genotypes had significantly lower serum (p<0.0001) and RBC folate concentrations (p<0.0001) compared with control mothers. Conclusions: The present study provides further evidence that maternal folate deficiency and MTHFRC677T polymorphism might be associated with an increased risk for NTDs in offspring. Our results are limited by the fact that maternal folate concentrations were not obtained during the periconceptional period, but at delivery. Further analyses, including maternal folate levels during the periconceptional period, are warranted.

Topic Category 醫藥衛生 > 預防保健與衛生學