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Genetic associations with neonatal thyroid stimulating hormone levels

Alul, F.Y., Shchelochkov, O.A., Berberich, S.L., et al.

Background
Elevations or deficits in thyroid hormone levels are responsible for a wide range of neonatal and adult phenotypes. Several genome-wide, candidate gene and meta-analysis studies have examined thyroid hormones in adults; however, to our knowledge no genetic association studies have been performed with neonatal thyroid levels.

Methods
A population of Iowa neonates; term (n=827) and preterm (n=815), were genotyped for 45 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) values were obtained from the Iowa Neonatal Metabolic Screening Program. Analysis of variance was performed to identify genetic associations with TSH concentrations.

Results
The strongest association was rs4704397 in the PDE8B gene (p=1.3×10−4), followed by rs965513 (p=6.4×10−4) on chromosome 9 upstream of the FOXE1 gene. Both of these SNPs met statistical significance after correction for multiple testing. Six other SNPs were marginally significant (p<0.05).

Conclusions
We demonstrated for the first time two genetic associations with neonatal TSH levels that replicate findings with adult TSH levels. These SNPs should be considered as early predictors of risk for adult diseases and conditions associated with thyroid hormone levels. Furthermore, this provides a better understanding of the thyroid profile and potential risk for thyroid disorders in newborns.

Citation

Alul, F.Y., Shchelochkov, O.A., Berberich, S.L., et al. "Genetic associations with neonatal thyroid stimulating hormone levels" Pediatric Research (2013): 484–91