Research Article| Volume 345, ISSUE 1-2, P148-153, October 15, 2014

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Associations of a polymorphism in the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) gene and ICAM1 serum levels with migraine in a Chinese Han population


      • This is the first report about ICAM1 gene polymorphisms and migraine.
      • The E/E genotype of the K469E polymorphism is an important risk factor for migraine.
      • This polymorphism affects ICAM1 serum levels.
      • Opening up the potential development of ICAM1 K469E E allele-specific therapeutics



      To investigate the associations of a polymorphism in the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM1) gene, and ICAM1 serum levels, with migraine and migraine subtypes in a Han Chinese population.


      We used PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) and gene sequencing to analyze the genotype and allelic frequencies of the K469E (rs5498) and G241R (rs1799969) ICAM1 polymorphisms between migraine cases and controls. Serum levels of ICAM1 were tested by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


      (1) We found significant higher frequencies of the distribution of the E/E genotype and the E allele of the K469E polymorphism between migraine cases and controls (χ2 = 4.948 & P < 0.05 and χ2 = 13.990 & P < 0.01, respectively), and between a migraine without aura subtype of migraine cases and controls (χ2 = 5.265 & P < 0.05; χ2 = 20.501 & P < 0.01, respectively). After correction by conditional logistical regression, the frequency distribution difference of the E/E genotype between the migraine cases and controls remained statistically significant (OR = 32.85, 95% CI:4.22–28.79, P = 0.007.) (2) ICAM1 serum levels were significantly higher in migraine cases than in controls (P < 0.01) and, within migraine cases, were significantly higher in K469E E allele carriers than in K allele carriers (P < 0.01).


      Our data indicate that the E/E genotype of the ICAM1 K469E polymorphism may be an important risk factor for migraine in a Han Chinese population, and that this polymorphism affects ICAM1 serum levels. Although the independent risk factor constituted by this polymorphism in other ethnic groups requires further study, our studies raise the possibility of the development of ICAM1 K469E E allele-specific therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of migraine in the Chinese Han population.


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