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Genetic and environmental factors influencing the Placental Growth Factor (PGF) variation in two populations


, : Genetic and environmental factors influencing the Placental Growth Factor (PGF) variation in two populations. Plos One 7(8): E42537-E42537

Placental Growth Factor (PGF) is a key molecule in angiogenesis. Several studies have revealed an important role of PGF primarily in pathological conditions (e.g.: ischaemia, tumour formation, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory processes) suggesting its use as a potential therapeutic agent. However, to date, no information is available regarding the genetics of PGF variability. Furthermore, even though the effect of environmental factors (e.g.: cigarette smoking) on angiogenesis has been explored, no data on the influence of these factors on PGF levels have been reported so far. Here we have first investigated PGF variability in two cohorts focusing on non-genetic risk factors: a study sample from two isolated villages in the Cilento region, South Italy (N=871) and a replication sample from the general Danish population (N=1,812). A significant difference in PGF mean levels was found between the two cohorts. However, in both samples, we observed a strong correlation of PGF levels with ageing and sex, men displaying PGF levels significantly higher than women. Interestingly, smoking was also found to influence the trait in the two populations, although differently. We have then focused on genetic risk factors. The association between five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in the PGF gene and the plasma levels of the protein was investigated. Two polymorphisms (rs11850328 and rs2268614) were associated with the PGF plasma levels in the Cilento sample and these associations were strongly replicated in the Danish sample. These results, for the first time, support the hypothesis of the presence of genetic and environmental factors influencing PGF plasma variability.

US$19.90

PMID: 22916133

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042537


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