Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and ischemic heart disease: a Mendelian Randomization study

Mengyu Li, Man Ki Kwok, Shirley Siu Ming Fong, Catherine Mary Schooling

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the rate-limiting enzyme in the tryptophan-kynurenine pathway, is positively associated with cardiac events, and may be relevant to cancer. We used Mendelian Randomization to obtain unconfounded estimates of the association of IDO1 with ischemic heart disease (IHD), ischemic stroke and their risk factors, all-cancer, cancer of the prostate, lung and bronchus, and breast. We obtained genetic instruments independently and strongly (p-value < 5 × 10−8) predicting plasma IDO1 from a proteome genome-wide association study (GWAS), and applied them to consortia GWAS of the outcomes, including the UK Biobank SOFT CAD GWAS (cases < = 76 014, non-cases < = 264 785) for IHD. Estimates were obtained using inverse variance weighting; with MR-Egger, weighted median and MR-PRESSO as sensitivity analyses. IDO1 was inversely associated with IHD (odds ratio (OR) 0.96 per standard deviation, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93 to 1.00, p-value = 0.04), diabetes (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85 to 0.97) and prostate cancer (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93 to 0.99) with a directionally consistent estimate for stroke (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.02) but not with blood pressure, or the other cancers considered. IDO1 might be a potential therapeutic target for IHD, diabetes and prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8491
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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