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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 13;8(8):e73708. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073708. eCollection 2013.

Evaluation of genetic polymorphisms in patients with multiple chemical sensitivity.

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Department of Public Health, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.



Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a chronic medical condition characterized by symptoms that the affect an individual's response to low-level chemical exposure. In this study, we identified a chemical sensitive population (CSP) and investigated the effect of genetic polymorphisms on their risk of chemical sensitivity.


A quick environment exposure sensitivity (QEESI) questionnaire was used to survey 324 Japanese male workers whose DNA samples had been collected and stored. The following genes, which encode enzymes affecting the metabolic activation of a large number of xenobiotic compounds, were selected and analyzed in order to determine their influence on genetic predisposition to CSP: cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2E1, N-acetyl transferase (NAT) 2, glutathione S-transferase (GST) M1, GSTT1, GSTP1, low Km aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) 2.


Significant case-control distributed differences were observed in SOD2 polymorphisms and allele frequency distribution in high chemical sensitive subjects. Both the significant adjusted OR of 4.30 (95% CI, 1.23-15.03) and 4.53 (95% CI, 1.52-13.51) were observed in SOD2 Ala/Ala and Val/Ala compared to Val/Val and in SOD2 Ala/Ala compared to Val/Ala compared to Val/Val genetic analysis in the high chemical sensitivity case-control study.


We observed that high chemical sensitive individuals diagnosed by using Japanese criteria as MCS patients were more significantly associated with SOD2 polymorphisms.

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