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J Neurol Sci. 2001 Apr 1;185(2):123-7.

A study of interleukin-1 cluster genes in susceptibility to and severity of multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1Laboratory of Atherosclerosis Genetics, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Centre for Laboratory Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, FinnMedi 2/3 Floor, P.O. Box 2000 33521, Tampere, Finland.


In this explorative study, interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor antagonist (IL-1RA; polymorphism of variable number of tandem repeats: VNTR), IL-1alpha (-889), IL-1beta (-511) and IL-1beta (+3953) polymorphisms were studied in relation to susceptibility to and severity of multiple sclerosis (MS), in 93 MS patients and 400 normal controls. No associations were found for any polymorphisms, alone or in combination. However, in our MS cohort, females were found to be IL-1RA allele 2 carriers more frequently than males (33/49 vs. 16/44, p = 0.0028). Using a cohort of 109 controls, IL-1RA allele 2 carriers were more frequently women with MS than control women (33/49 vs. 23/43, odds ratio (OR) = 2.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-4.72, p = 0.043, P(C) = ns). The data suggest that the IL-1 cluster genes make no major contribution to MS, but the tentative association between IL-1RA allele 2 and susceptibility of MS in women warrants further studies.

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