Kaartokallio T, Wang J, Heinonen S, Kajantie E, Kivinen K, Pouta A, Gerdhem P, Jiao H, Kere J, Laivuori H
Sci Rep 6 (-) 29085 [2016-07-07; online 2016-07-07]
Pre-eclampsia is a common pregnancy disorder that is a major cause for maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Variants predisposing to pre-eclampsia might be under negative evolutionary selection that is likely to keep their population frequencies low. We exome sequenced samples from a hundred Finnish pre-eclamptic women in pools of ten to screen for low-frequency, large-effect risk variants for pre-eclampsia. After filtering and additional genotyping steps, we selected 28 low-frequency missense, nonsense and splice site variants that were enriched in the pre-eclampsia pools compared to reference data, and genotyped the variants in 1353 pre-eclamptic and 699 non-pre-eclamptic women to test the association of them with pre-eclampsia and quantitative traits relevant for the disease. Genotypes from the SISu project (n = 6118 exome sequenced Finnish samples) were included in the binary trait association analysis as a population reference to increase statistical power. In these analyses, none of the variants tested reached genome-wide significance. In conclusion, the genetic risk for pre-eclampsia is likely complex even in a population isolate like Finland, and larger sample sizes will be necessary to detect risk variants.