Lack of significant effect of interleukin-18 gene variants on tuberculosis susceptibility in the Polish population
Background: Polymorphisms in genes encoding cytokines are known to determine susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection. In particular, interleukin-18 (IL-18), an inducer of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), playing an important role in anti-mycobacterial immune responses, may influence the risk of developing active tuberculosis (TB). Aim: A case-control study was performed to investigate whether two promoter polymorphisms of the IL-18 gene at positions -137G/A (rs187238) and -607A/C (rs1946518) affect the serum level of IL-18 and might be associated with genetic susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) in the Polish population. Methods: Two IL-18 gene promoter SNPs were detected by an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction. Serum IL-18 levels were measured immunoenzymatically using Human Total IL-18 ELISA DuoSet (R&D). Results: A single-gene analysis showed no differences either in allele or genotype frequencies of the studied SNPs between TB patients and healthy controls. No significant differences in the frequencies of any of the haplotypes between TB patients and healthy controls were found. None of the polymorphic variants of IL-18(-137G/A) or IL-18(-607A/C) SNP was associated with IL-18 producing capability. Conclusion: Our results suggest that IL-18(-137G/A) and IL-18(-607A/C) polymorphisms may not be risk factors for susceptibility to TB in the Polish population. Increased serum IL-18 level observed in TB patients has no genetic background, but is a consequence of M.tb infection. Further studies with a higher sample size are required to confirm these findings.
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