Background: Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and regulates the stress response through two CRH receptors (R1 and R2). Previously, we reported that a CRHR1 gene polymorphism (rs110402, rs242924, and rs7209436) and haplotypes were associated with IBS. However, the association between the CRHR2 gene and IBS was not investigated. We tested the hypothesis that genetic polymorphisms and haplotypes of CRHR2 are associated with IBS pathophysiology and negative emotion in IBS patients. Methods: A total of 142 IBS patients and 142 healthy controls participated in this study. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the CRHR2 gene (rs4722999, rs3779250, rs2240403, rs2267710, rs2190242, rs2284217, and rs2284220) were genotyped. Subjects' psychological states were evaluated using the Perceived-Stress Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Self-Rating Depression Scale. Results: We found that rs4722999 and rs3779250, located in intronic region, were associated with IBS in terms of genotype frequency (rs4722999: P = 0.037; rs3779250: P = 0.017) and that the distribution of the major allele was significantly different between patients and controls. There was a significant group effect (controls vs. IBS), and a CRHR2 genotype effect was observed for three psychological scores, but the interaction was not significant. We found a haplotype of four SNPs (rs4722999, rs3779250, rs2240403, and rs2267710) and two SNPs (rs2284217 and rs2284220) in strong linkage disequilibrium (D' > 0.90). We also found that.
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