Background: Several lines of evidence imply that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia (FM); in this regard, patients with FM have altered blood and cerebrospinal fluid levels of BDNF. In this study, we explored the association between BDNF gene polymorphisms and FM susceptibility and the severity of symptoms. Methods: In total, 409 patients with FM and 423 healthy controls in 10 medical centers were enrolled from the Korean nationwide FM survey. The alleles and genotypes at 10 positions in the BDNF gene were genotyped. Results: The allele and genotype frequencies of BDNF rs11030104 differed significantly between the patients with FM and the controls (P = 0.031). The GG genotype of rs11030104 had a protective effect against FM (P = 0.016), and the G allele of rs11030104 was negatively associated with the presence of FM compared with the A allele (P = 0.013). In comparison, although the allele and genotype frequencies of BDNF rs12273539 did not differ between the two groups, the TT genotype of BDNF rs12273539 was associated with susceptibility to FM (P = 0.038). Haplotype analyses implied that some BDNF haplotypes have a protective effect against FM. Finally, several genotypes and haplotypes of the BDNF gene contributed to specific symptoms of FM. Conclusions: This study is the first to evaluate the associations between BDNF gene polymorphisms and FM. Our results imply that some BDNF single-nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes are associated with susceptibility to, and contribute to the symptoms of, FM.
- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor