BioScience Trends. 2022;16(4):282-290. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01306)

Association of MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism with pregnancy outcomes in IVF/ICSI-ET recipients with adequate synthetic folic acid supplementation

Ye FJ, Zhang SW, Qi Q, Zhou J, Du Y, Wang L


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) genetic polymorphism rs1801133 (677C>T) will decrease the utilization of folate. Folate deficiency and its resulting homocysteine (HCY) accumulation can impair female fertility. Folic acid (FA) supplementation is necessary in pregnant women who are undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) - embryo transfer (ET), and especially in women with MTHFR rs1801133 C-to-T mutations. At present, affordable and accessible synthetic FA is mainly used. However, some studies have suggested that 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), a type of active FA, may be more suitable for women with the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism, since it is safer and more effective. This retrospective study aimed to evaluate whether the MTHFR rs1801133 gene polymorphism is related to the pregnancy outcomes of IVF/ICSI-ET recipients after sufficient supplementation with FA instead of 5-MTHF. Data on 692 women undergoing IVF/ICSI-ET and taking adequate FA were collected. Participant characteristics were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test and Pearson chi-square test. Logistic regressions were used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI), after adjusting for age, BMI, method of fertilization, method of embryo transfer and number of embryos transferred. An additive model (T/T vs. C/C), dominant model (C/T + T/T vs. C/C), and recessive model (T/T vs. C/T + C/C) were evaluated. Analysis revealed that MTHFR rs1801133 in IVF/ICSIET women with adequate FA supplementation was not associated with the pregnancy rate but with age (OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.88, 0.94, P < 0.001) and BMI (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.90, 0.997, P = 0.037). In 349 clinically pregnant women, no association of the MTHFR 677C>T with pregnancy outcomes was found in the additive model, dominant model, or recessive model. Of the 273 women with positive pregnancy outcomes, 34 had a preterm delivery. MTHFR 677C>T was not associated with a preterm delivery after adjusting for age and BMI. The current results indicated that MTHFR polymorphism rs1801133 was not related to the pregnancy rate or pregnancy outcomes of women undergoing IVF/ICSI-ET with adequate synthetic FA supplementation, suggesting that simple supplementation with less expensive and readily available FA, rather than expensive 5-MTHF, appeared to be appropriate.

KEYWORDS: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, IVF/ICSI-ET, folic acid supplementation, active folic acid, 5-MTHF, adverse pregnancy, preterm delivery

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