Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify associations between maternal and fetal genetic variants in candidate genes and spontaneous preterm birth (PTB) in a Norwegian population and to determine the effect size of those associations that corroborate a previous study of PTB. Methods: DNA from 434 mother-baby dyads (214 cases and 220 controls) collected from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort (MoBa) was examined for association between 1,430 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 143 genes and PTB. These results were compared to a previous study on European Americans (EA) from Centennial Women's Hospital in Nashville, TN, USA. Odds ratios for SNPs that corroborated the Cenntennial study were determined on the combined MoBa and Centennial studies. Results: In maternal samples the strongest results that corroborated the Centennial study were in the prostaglandin E receptor 3 gene (PTGER3; rs977214) (combined genotype p = 3x10-4). The best model for rs977214 was the AG/GG genotypes relative to the AA genotype and resulted in an OR of 0.55 (95% CI = 0.37-0.82, p = 0.003), indicating a protective effect. In fetal samples the most significant association in the combined data was rs854552 in the paraoxonase 1 gene (PON1) (combined allele p = 8x10-4). The best model was the TT genotype relative to the CC/CT genotypes, and resulted in an OR of 1.32 (95% CI = 1.13-1.53, p = 4x10-4). Conclusions: These studies identify single locus associations with preterm birth for both maternal and fetal genotypes in two populations of European ancestry.
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