Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is a type of hereditary stroke and dementia. More than 90% of patients with CADASIL have mutations in the Notch3 gene. All mutations either create or destroy a cysteine residue in the epidermal growth factor-like repeats. In addition, five polymorphisms, which lead to amino acid substitutions, have been identified within the Notch3 coding sequence. However, whether these polymorphisms affect Notch signalling or are involved in cerebrovascular diseases is unknown. In the present study, we investigated a possible association between a T6746C polymorphism in the Notch3 coding region and the occurrence of symptomatic ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVD) was investigated. Two hundred and thirty five patients with CVD, as confirmed by brain CT or MRI, and 315 age and sex matched control subjects were analyzed for genotype frequencies of the T6746C polymorphism in Notch3. The genotype distributions were: patients with CVD, C/C 14.0%, C/T 45.5%, and T/T 40.4%; controls, C/C, 14.3%; C/T, 47.9%; T/T, 37.8%. The Japanese population has a higher C allele frequency of the T6746C polymorphism than European populations. There was no significant difference between the T6746C polymorphism in patients with CVD and controls (X2=0.414, p=0.813). This was confirmed by the results of multiple logistic regression analysis including established risk factors (X2 =4.65, p=0.311). In conclusion, the results indicate that T6746C polymorphism in the intracellular domain of the Notch3 gene is not associated with an increased risk for CVD.
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