Annexin A5 is an essential component of placental integrity that may potentially mediate susceptibility to phenotypes of compromised pregnancy. A promoter haplotype termed M2 of the coding gene ANXA5 has been implicated in various pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), however with inconclusive results.
A retrospective case-control study combining resequencing and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis was undertaken in 313 women with unexplained RPL and 214 fertile women from Estonia and Denmark to estimate the RPL disease risk of the M2 haplotype in Northern Europe. Comparative prevalence of the studied ANXA5 genetic variants in human populations was estimated based on the 1000 Genomes Project (n = 675, whole-genome sequencing data) and the KORA S3 500K dataset of South German samples (n = 1644, genome-wide genotyping data).
Minor allele frequency of common polymorphisms in ANXA5 promoter was up to two-fold lower among Estonian RPL subjects than fertile controls. The M2 haplotype was not associated with RPL and a trend for decreased prevalence was observed among RPL patients compared to controls both in Estonia (8.1% vs 15.2%, respectively) and Denmark (9.7% vs 12.6%). The high M2 prevalence in fertile controls was consistent with estimations for European and East Asian populations (9.6%-16.0%).
This study cautions to consider the M2 haplotype as a deterministic factor in early pregnancy success because: i) no RPL disease risk was associated with the haplotype in two clinically well-characterized RPL case-control study samples, ii) high prevalence of the haplotype among fertile controls and world-wide populations is inconsistent with the previously proposed severe impact on early pregnancy success, iii) weak impact of M2 haplotype on the production of ANXA5 protein has been established by others.
Annexin A5 is a natural anticoagulant assumed to have thrombomodulary functions as it shields phospholipid layers from coagulation complexes. It was recently shown that the M2 haplotype within the annexin A5 gene (ANXA5) promoter reduces the transcriptional activity of the gene. In a previous report, the M2 haplotype was found to be associated with pregnancy-related venous thrombosis (VT).
To investigate whether the M1 or M2 haplotypes or other genetic variations in ANXA5 are associated with pregnancy-related VT.
We investigated samples from 313 cases and 353 controls included in the VIP study, which is a case-control study of pregnancy-related VT. We analyzed tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected from the CEU population (Utah Residents with Northern and Western European Ancestry) of HapMap and the M1 and the M2 haplotypes of the promoter. Odds ratios for VT were calculated for each haplotype with the wild type as the reference and for each tag SNP with the most common genotype as reference.
We did not find any association between genetic variants in ANXA5 and the risk of pregnancy related VT, but some of the genetic variants were not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
Neither the M1/M2 haplotypes nor the tag SNPs in ANXA5 were convincingly associated with pregnancy related VT, but other studies in this field are needed.