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Leptin receptor (LEPR) SNP polymorphisms in HELLP syndrome patients determined by quantitative real-time PCR and melting curve analysis

Tibor Várkonyi1, Levente Lázár1, Attila Molvarec1, Nándor Gábor Than12, János Rigó1 and Bálint Nagy1*

Author Affiliations

1 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Semmelweis University, 1088 Budapest, Hungary

2 Perinatology Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Detroit, MI 48201, USA

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BMC Medical Genetics 2010, 11:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-25

Published: 11 February 2010



Several studies have shown overexpression of leptin in microarray experiments in pre-eclampsia (PE) and in hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets (HELLP) syndrome. We decided to study four leptin receptor (LEPR) SNP polymorphisms in HELLP syndrome patients by using quantitative real-time PCR and melting curve analysis.


DNA was isolated from blood samples from 83 normotensive pregnant women and 75 HELLP syndrome patients. Four SNPs, LEPR c.326A>G (K109), LEPR c.668A>G (Q223R), LEPR c.1968G>C (K656N) and LEPR c.3024A>G (S1008) were determined by quantitative real-time PCR and melting curve analysis. Investigators were blinded to clinical outcomes.


LEPR c.326A>G, LEPR c.668A>G, LEPR c.1968G>C and LEPR c.3024A>G allele, genotype and haplotype polymorphisms were not different in HELLP syndrome patients and normotensive healthy pregnants. There were strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) between loci c.326A>G and c.6687A>G (D' = 0.974), and c.668A>G and c.1968G>C (D' = 0.934), and c.326A>G and c.1968G>C (D' = 0.885), and c.1968G>C and c.3024A>G (D' = 1.0). However, linkages of c.3024A>G with c.668A>G (D' = 0.111) and c.326A>G (D' = 0.398) were weak. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed for all polymorphisms. However the LEPR c.326A>G AG genotype was twice more frequent and the (AG AG GG AG) haplotype was three times more frequent in HELLP syndrome patients. The introduced quantitative real-time PCR combined with melting curve analysis is a fast and reliable method for the determination of LEPR SNPs.


Although certain LEPR haplotypes are more frequent in HELLP syndrome, we conclude that there is no compelling evidence that the four studied LEPR SNP polymorphisms associated with the development of HELLP syndrome.