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Correlation between heavy metal exposure and GSTM1 polymorphism in Iranian multiple sclerosis patients


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Various exposures to heavy metals can lead to toxicity and oxidative stress. While glutathione-S-transferases are known as oxidative stress-related genes and involved in metal biotransformation. The aim of the present study is to investigate the correlation of GSTM1 polymorphism in MS patients and the possible association with blood concentration of arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) as major heavy metal pollutants. This study included 69 relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis patients and 74 age/gender-matched healthy subjects. The genetic profile was analyzed by PCR, and heavy metal concentrations were measured by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Our results demonstrated that patients with the GSTM1 null genotype had considerably lower age of onset. However, the frequency of the GSTM1 null genotype was not significantly different between MS and control groups. In addition, the blood As and Cd concentrations were considerably higher in MS patients in comparison with healthy individuals. Also, it revealed that the GSTM1 null genotype associated with high Cd level in MS patients. There was also a trend toward an increase in As level in MS patients. These data may point to susceptibility to cadmium toxicity especially in RR–MS patients with smoking habit. Furthermore, the M1 null genotype will help in a prognosis of MS considering the age of onset. It confirms that the long-term prognosis in MS and patient’s disability are influenced by their ability to remove the toxic products and perhaps to decrease oxidative stress.

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This work is financially supported by Grant No. 92-01-33-22101 Deputy of Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, to MHG.

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Correspondence to Mohammad H. Ghahremani.

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Aliomrani, M., Sahraian, M.A., Shirkhanloo, H. et al. Correlation between heavy metal exposure and GSTM1 polymorphism in Iranian multiple sclerosis patients. Neurol Sci 38, 1271–1278 (2017).

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