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Hypertension. 2007 Nov;50(5):884-90. Epub 2007 Sep 24.

Sex and body mass index specific regulation of blood pressure by CYP19A1 gene variants.

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Departamento de Genómica Estructural, Neocodex, Parque Tecnológico Isla de la Cartuja, Sevilla, Spain.


Sexual dimorphism in blood pressure (BP) regulation has been observed both in humans and experimental animals, and estrogens have been shown to contribute to this epidemiological observation. A key enzyme in determining estrogen levels is aromatase cytochrome P450. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the gene encoding aromatase, CYP19A1, as an independent risk factor for hypertension and its relationship with systolic and diastolic BP measures. We genotyped 2 polymorphisms within the CYP19A1 gene, IVS4 rs11575899 and 3'UTR rs10046, in 3448 individuals. In quantitative analysis, we observed significant associations between the 2 polymorphisms and BP values in women, being these associations dependent on BMI and independent of menopause status. The case-control analysis revealed that the most prominent associations were found for nonobese women in diastolic hypertension (DHT): the IVS4_22 and 3'UTR_11 are risk genotypes (OR=1.61, P=0.027 and OR=1.59, P=0.012, respectively), whereas IVS4_11 and 3'UTR_22 genotypes have a protective effect against DHT (OR=0.63, P=0.009, and OR=0.61, P=0.020, respectively). Haplotype analysis confirmed the above associations: among nonobese women the haplotype 21 is overrepresented in hypertensive women (OR=1.33, P=0.004, for DHT and OR=1.25, P=0.026, for systolic hypertension, SHT) and, conversely, the haplotype 12 protects against hypertension (OR=0.78, P=0.015 for DHT and OR=0.82, P=0.04 for SHT). Our study has shown that the CYP19A1 gene may be involved in the genetic regulation of BP in women. This effect is dependent on BMI and independent of menopause status, suggesting that this action is mainly driven by aromatase activity in fat tissue.

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