Past Issue

Volume 8, Number 4, Jan-Mar 2015, Pages: 463-480

Association between Maternal MTHFR Polymorphisms and Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate in Offspring, A Meta-Analysis Based on 15 Case-Control Studies

Xinjuan Pan, Ph.D, 1, 2, Ping Wang, M.D., 2, Xinjuan Yin, M.D., 1, Xiaozhuan Liu, Ph.D., 1, Di Li, M.D., 1, Xing Li, M.D., 1, Yongchao Wang, M.D., 1, Hongle Li, Ph.D., 1, Zengli Yu, Ph.D., 1, *,
College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China
Medical College, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang, China
* Corresponding Address: College of Public Health Zhengzhou University 100 Kexue Avenue Zhengzhou Henan 450001 China



The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is thought to be involved in the development of nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P). However, conflicting results have been obtained when evaluating the association between maternal MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms and the risk of NSCL/P. In light of this gap, a meta-analysis of all eligible case-control studies was conducted in the present study.

Materials and Methods

A total of 15 case-control studies were ultimately identified after a comprehensive literature search and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) examination. Cochrane’s Q test and index of heterogeneity (I2) indicated no obvious heterogeneity among studies.


Fixed or random-effects models were used to calculate the pooled odds ratios (ORs). The results showed that the TT genotype in mothers increased the likelihood of having NSCL/P offspring 1.25 times (95% CI: 1.047-1.494) more than the CC homozygotes. Meanwhile, maternal TT genotype increased the risk of producing NSCL/P offspring in recessive model (OR=1.325, 95% CI: 1.124-1.562). However, the CT heterozygote and the CT+TT dominant models had no association with NSCL/P offspring compared with the CC wild-type homozygote model. Subgroup analyses based on ethnicity indicated that maternal TT genotype increased the likelihood of having NSCL/P offspring in Whites (OR=1.308, 95% CI: 1.059-1.617) and Asians (OR=1.726, 95% CI: 1.090-2.733) in recessive model. Also, subgroup analyses based on source of control showed that mothers with the 677TT genotype had a significantly increased susceptibility of having NSCL/P children in hospital based population (HB) when compared with CC homozygotes (OR=1.248, 95% CI: 1.024-1.520) and un- der the recessive model (OR=1.324, 95% CI: 1.104-1.588). Furthermore, maternal A1298C polymorphism had no significant association with producing NSCL/P offspring (dominant model OR=0.952, 95% CI: 0.816-1.111, recessive model OR=0.766, 95% CI: 0.567-1.036).


MTHFR C677T polymorphism is associated with the risk of generating NSCL/P offspring, and being a 677TT homozygote is a risk factor. MTHFR A1298C polymorphism was not associated with generating NSCL/P offspring. However, further work should be performed to confirm these findings.