Alterations in vitamin D homeostasis, mainly involving its nuclear receptor (VDR), could have a role in the pathophysiology of the spine. The association between VDR polymorphisms and spine disorders has been analyzed in different ethnic groups, focusing on the functional FokI polymorphism. However, so far, inconsistent findings were reported. The aims of this study were to evaluate, in the Italian white population, the VDR FokI polymorphism frequencies distribution in subjects with clearly defined lumbar spinal pathologies compared to asymptomatic controls and to analyze the interplay of genetic and conventional risk factors. Using a case-control design, 267 patients with spinal disorders and 220 asymptomatic controls were enrolled, evaluating their exposition to putative risk factors. Patients' clinical assessment was performed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging. FokI polymorphism (rs2228570) was detected by PCR-RFLP. Genotypes were designated by a lowercase letter (f allele, T nucleotide) for the presence of the restriction site and by a capital letter (F allele, C nucleotide) for its absence. Family history, higher age and BMI, exposure to vibration, physical job demand, smoking habit and lower practice of leisure physical activity were associated with spinal disorders. The FF genotype and F allele represented approximately 2-fold risk factors to develop discopathies and/or osteochondrosis concomitant with disc herniation, while f allele was protective. In conclusion, the link we observed between VDR FokI variants and specific lumbar spine pathologies suggests that spinal tissue degeneration is influenced by the genetic background. Future studies should evaluate the signaling pathways involving alterations in VDR and influencing the development and/or progression of spine disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)