BACKGROUND: Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of severe headache, affecting around 12% of Caucasian populations. It is well known that migraine has a strong genetic component, although the number and type of genes involved is still unclear. Prior linkage studies have reported mapping of a migraine gene to chromosome Xq 24-28, a region containing a cluster of genes for GABA A receptors (GABRE, GABRA3, GABRQ), which are potential candidate genes for migraine. The GABA neurotransmitter has been implicated in migraine pathophysiology previously; however its exact role has not yet been established, although GABA receptors agonists have been the target of therapeutic developments. The aim of the present research is to investigate the role of the potential candidate genes reported on chromosome Xq 24-28 region in migraine susceptibility. In this study, we have focused on the subunit GABA A receptors type epsilon (GABRE) and type theta (GABRQ) genes and their involvement in migraine. METHODS: We have performed an association analysis in a large population of case-controls (275 unrelated Caucasian migraineurs versus 275 controls) examining a set of 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding region (exons 3, 5 and 9) of the GABRE gene and also the I478F coding variant of the GABRQ gene. RESULTS: Our study did not show any association between the examined SNPs in our test population (P>0.05). CONCLUSION: Although these particular GABA receptor genes did not show positive association, further studies are necessary to consider the role of other GABA receptor genes in migraine susceptibility.
Fernandez, F., Esposito, T., Lea, R. A., Colson, N. J., Ciccodicola, A., Gianfrancesco, F. & Griffiths, L. R. (2008). Investigation of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) A receptors genes and migraine susceptibility. BMC Medical Genetics, 9 (109), 1-10.