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Apolipoprotein E alleles in women with pre-eclampsia
  1. N Makkonen1,
  2. S Heinonen1,
  3. M Hiltunen2,
  4. S Helisalmi2,
  5. A Mannermaa2,
  6. P Kirkinen1
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kuopio University Hospital, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
  2. 2Chromosome and DNA Laboratory of the Division of Diagnostic Services, Kuopio University Hospital
  1. Dr Heinonen seppo.heinonen{at}


Aims—To investigate the frequency of three apolipoprotein E (apoE) alleles among women with pre-eclampsia.

Methods—The presence of the three most common apoE alleles (ε2, ε3, ε4) was determined by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism in two groups of women: healthy pregnant women (n = 91) and pregnant women with a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia (n = 133). In addition, the frequencies of the alleles in the general population in this area are presented for comparison.

Results—The frequency of the apo ε4 allele was 18.4% among women with pre-eclampsia and 18.7% among healthy pregnant women (Fisher's exact test; p = 0.941), which is close to the rate in the general population in this area (19%). None of the apolipoprotein E genotypes was significantly over-represented, and homozygous genotype ε4 was not associated with more severe clinical disease than were the other genotypes.

Conclusion—The observed profiles of allele and genotype frequencies confirm an equilibrium state between apoE polymorphism and pre-eclampsia and suggest that apoE does not play a major role in the development of pre-eclampsia.

  • apolipoprotein E
  • gene polymorphism
  • pre-eclampsia

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