Antiepileptic Drug Teratogenicity and De Novo Genetic Variation Load.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: The mechanisms by which antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) cause birth defects (BDs) are unknown. Data suggest that AED-induced BDs may result from a genome-wide increase of de novo variants in the embryo, a mechanism that we investigated. METHODS: Whole exome sequencing data from child-parent trios were interrogated for de novo single-nucleotide variants/indels (dnSNVs/indels) and de novo copy number variants (dnCNVs). Generalized linear models were applied to assess de novo variant burdens in children exposed prenatally to AEDs (AED-exposed children) versus children without BDs not exposed prenatally to AEDs (AED-unexposed unaffected children), and AED-exposed children with BDs versus those without BDs, adjusting for confounders. Fisher exact test was used to compare categorical data. RESULTS: Sixty-seven child-parent trios were included: 10 with AED-exposed children with BDs, 46 with AED-exposed unaffected children, and 11 with AED-unexposed unaffected children. The dnSNV/indel burden did not differ between AED-exposed children and AED-unexposed unaffected children (median dnSNV/indel number/child [range] = 3 [0-7] vs 3 [1-5], p = 0.50). Among AED-exposed children, there were no significant differences between those with BDs and those unaffected. Likely deleterious dnSNVs/indels were detected in 9 of 67 (13%) children, none of whom had BDs. The proportion of cases harboring likely deleterious dnSNVs/indels did not differ significantly between AED-unexposed and AED-exposed children. The dnCNV burden was not associated with AED exposure or birth outcome. INTERPRETATION: Our study indicates that prenatal AED exposure does not increase the burden of de novo variants, and that this mechanism is not a major contributor to AED-induced BDs. These results can be incorporated in routine patient counseling. ANN NEUROL 2020;87:897-906.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Perucca, P; Anderson, A; Jazayeri, D; Hitchcock, A; Graham, J; Todaro, M; Tomson, T; Battino, D; Perucca, E; Ferri, MM; Rochtus, A; Lagae, L; Canevini, MP; Zambrelli, E; Campbell, E; Koeleman, BPC; Scheffer, IE; Berkovic, SF; Kwan, P; Sisodiya, SM; Goldstein, DB; Petrovski, S; Craig, J; Vajda, FJE; O'Brien, TJ; EpiPGX and EPIGEN Consortia,

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 897 - 906

PubMed ID

  • 32215971

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-8249

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ana.25724


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States