Cystatin C (CST3) is a cysteine protease inhibitor abundant in the central nervous system, and demonstrated to have roles in several pathophysiological processes including vascular remodeling and inflammation. Previously, we showed a relation of CST3 gene polymorphisms with deep and subcortical white matter hyperintensity (DSWMH) in a small case-control study. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relation in a larger cross-sectional study. Participants of a brain health examination program were recruited (n = 1795) in the study, who underwent routine blood tests and cognitive function tests. Cerebral white matter changes were analyzed by MRI. Additionally, 7 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (−82G/C, −78T/G, −5G/A, +4A/C, +87C/T, +148G/A and +213G/A) in the promoter and coding regions of CST3 gene were examined. Among them, carriers of the minor allele haplotype −82C/+4C/+148A were significantly associated with decreased CST3 concentration in the plasma. Unadjusted analysis did not show significant relation between carriers of the minor allele haplotype and periventricular hyperintensity (PVH), but DSWMH was marginally (p < 0.054) increased in this group. After adjusting the effects of other variables like age and kidney function, logistic regression analysis revealed that carriers of the minor allele haplotype were at a significantly increased risk of developing both PVH and DSWMH. Thus, our results suggest that carriers of the minor allele haplotype −82C/+4C/+148A of CST3 gene could be at an increased risk to develop cerebral white matter disturbance.
Article number: 4688 (2020)
Faculty of Medicine