Genetic and environmental factors are highly related with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Our objective was to explore whether some genetic variants such as rs12255372, rs7903146 of TCF7L2 gene are significantly associated with the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus among Arabian population.

A case control study was designed for such genetic association study. A total of 159 unrelated pregnant women (114 Arab; 40 gestational diabetes mellitus cases and 74 controls and 45 non-Arab; 11 gestational diabetes mellitus and 34 controls) were recruited from antenatal care unit of HMC. Blood sample were drawn for DNA extraction, then genotyped for TCF7L2 gene variants (rs12255372, and rs7903146) using TaqMan real time PCR assay. Plasma was used for biochemical analysis including glucose, insulin and adiponectin.

The CC, CT and TT genotype frequencies of the TCF7L2 rs7903146 variants was not significantly different between the control and gestational diabetes mellitus cases (39.4%, 50,0%, 10.6% vs. 40.6%, 43.8%, and 15.6%, p=0.444) among Arab populations, respectively. Only, the T allele of rs12255372 variant was significantly associated with risk of gestational diabetes mellitus with odds ratio of 2.370, (95% of CI 1.010–5.563) with the p value of 0.047 among Arab subjects using the genetic dominant model after adjustment of BMI and age. The other polymorphism rs7903146 was not significantly associated with GDM among Arab and non-Arab subjects. No significant difference was observed for glucose, insulin and adiponectin hormone after 50g glucose load by genotyping of both variants.

The TCF7L2 rs12255372 variant is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus in Arab women. Further studies are needed with larger sample sizes.


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