African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12212

Full Length Research Paper

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism is associated with abortion in Chinese Holstein cows

Yapan Song1,2, Liping Sun1,2, Hongzhen Yang1,2, Guohua Hua1,2, Aizhen Guo3and Liguo Yang1,2*
1College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 43007, China. 2Key Laboratory, Education Ministry of China for Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding, and Reproduction, Wuhan 43007, China. 3College of Animal Veterinary, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 September 2011
  •  Published: 19 October 2011


Polymorphisms of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene are associated with abortion, early embryo loss and recurrent spontaneous abortion in human. However, information on the association between MTHFR polymorphism and cow abortion is scarce. In the present study, the effects of MTHFR polymorphism on cow abortion were investigated. The PCR-SSCP and DNA sequencing were applied to detect the polymorphisms in exon 4 and 7 of MTHFR gene in a total of 569 Chinese Holstein cattles. The homocysteine levels during various periods of pregnancy were detected by HPLC. The results show that 8137C/T SNP was identified in exon 7 of MTHFR, but no polymorphism was detected in exon 4. Association analysis revealed that the 8137C/T mutation was significantly associated with cow abortion (P = 0.0002). Regarding relative risk of incidence, cows with CT genotype showed greater relative risk than those with CC (OR = 2.05, 95% CI = 1.40 to 3.00). The blood homocysteine levels of individuals with CT genotype were significantly higher than those with CC genotype during the first 6 months of pregnancy and in non-pregnant cows (P < 0.05). In conclusion, MTHFR may be a beneficial candidate gene to control cow abortion.


Key words: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), abortion, Chinese Holstein cattle, SNP.

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