Preliminary evidence that VEGF genetic variability confers susceptibility to frontotemporal lobar degeneration

B. Borroni, S. Ghezzi, C. Agosti, S. Archetti, C. Fenoglio, D. Galimberti, E. Scarpini, M. Di Luca, N. Bresolin, G. P. Comi, A. Padovani, R. Del Bo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) recognizes a strong genetic background, with 30-50% of cases with a positive family history. Despite several efforts to identify monogenic causes of the disease, no clear-cut genetic risk factors for sporadic FTLD are yet known. Recently, increasing evidence points to a pivotal role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the neurodegerative process, suggesting functions not confined to its originally described vascular effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of VEGF as a genetic determinant to FTLD susceptibility. We evaluated a cohort of 274 unrelated Italian patients, including 161 subjects with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), 56 with corticobasal degeneration syndrome, and 57 with progressive supranuclear palsy. Genotype and allele frequencies of four well-known polymorphisms located within the VEGF promoter (-2578C/A, -1190G/A, -1154G/A, and -634G/C) were calculated in patients and in 216 age-matched healthy subjects. Genetic analysis revealed the presence of several significant changes in terms of allele, genotype, and haplotype frequency distributions between patients and controls. Marked differences were observed when the FTD patient subgroup was compared with healthy subjects. Overall, these data provide evidence for the first time that VEGF gene variability represents a susceptibility factor for sporadic FTLD, at least in an Italian population. Future confirmatory studies are mandatory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-780
Number of pages8
JournalRejuvenation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing


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