In 2016, a large meta-analysis brought the number of susceptibility loci for migraine to 38. While sub-type analysis for migraine without aura (MO) and migraine with aura (MA) found some loci showed specificity to MO, the study did not test the loci with respect to other subtypes of migraine. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) robustly associated with migraine are individually or collectively associated with menstrual migraine (MM).
Genotyping of migraine susceptibility SNPs was conducted using the Agena MassARRAY platform on DNA samples from 235 women diagnosed with menstrual migraine as per International Classification for Headache Disorders II (ICHD-II) criteria and 140 controls. Alternative genotyping methods including restriction fragment length polymorphism, pyrosequencing and Sanger sequencing were used for validation. Statistical analysis was performed using PLINK and SPSS.
Genotypes of 34 SNPs were obtained and investigated for their potential association with menstrual migraine. Of these SNPs, rs2506142 located near the neuropilin 1 gene (NRP1), was found to be significantly associated with menstrual migraine (p = 0.003). Genomic risk scores were calculated for all 34 SNPs as well as a subset of 7 SNPs that were nearing individual significance. Overall, this analysis suggested these SNPs to be weakly predictive of MM, but of no prognostic or diagnostic value.
Our results suggest that NRP1 may be important in the etiology of MM. It also suggests some genetic commonality between common migraine subtypes (MA and MO) and MM. The identification of associated SNPs may be the starting point to a better understanding of how genetic factors may contribute to the menstrual migraine sub-type.