It has been reported that the variants of the PDE4D (phosphodiesterase 4D) gene are associated with stroke, especially with the combination of cardio-embolic and carotid stroke in the Icelandic population, but it is still very controversial as to whether PDE4D is a susceptible gene for stroke in other populations. In the present study, we tested whether the PDE4D gene variation also confers stroke risk in a Chinese population. Our hypothesis was tested in a case-control study of a Chinese population comprising 639 stroke patients (including 253 with cerebral thrombosis, 171 with lacunar infarction and 215 with intracerebral haemorrhage) and 887 healthy controls. Three SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) (rs966221, rs456009 and rs2910829) in PDE4D were chosen based on the significant association with stroke reported previously in a Western population, and these were genotyped using PCR/RFLP (restriction-fragment-length polymorphism) and confirmed by sequencing. We found that only SNP83 (rs966221) was associated with stroke. Allele C of rs966221 is a risk allele, conferring an increased risk for atherothrombotic strokes [OR (odds ratio), 1.51; 95% CI (confidence interval), 1.09–2.10] independent of conventional risk factors. Haplotype analysis confirmed that haplotype G-C-C was associated with increased risk for atherothrombotic stroke (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.300–2.491). Our findings support that SNP83 of PDE4D is a genetic risk factor for atherothrombotic strokes in a Chinese population.

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