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Eur Cytokine Netw. 2003 Jul-Sep;14(3):168-71.

Interleukin 1B gene polymorphism is associated with baseline C-reactive protein levels in healthy individuals.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Tampere Medical School, Tampere, Finland.


C-reactive protein (CRP) is a sensitive marker of inflammation induced by both IL-6 and IL-1. Thus, genetic variation in these genes could be associated with the variety in C-reactive protein levels, and therefore with the severity of the entire inflammatory response. Even a subtle elevation in baseline CRP levels in healthy individuals has been found to significantly increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, to find out the possible role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in CRP baseline regulation we conducted a study of 338 healthy blood donors whose CRP levels were determined and whose single nucleotide polymorphisms of IL1A(C/T)-889, IL1B(C/T)-511, IL1B(C/T) + 3954, IL6(G/C)-174 and ILRN (a VNTR) both genotyped and haplotyped. The data revealed an association between CRP levels and the IL1B + 3954 genotype. Also, the bilocus haplotype IL1B-511*1/IL1B + 3954*2 was more frequent in subjects with below median CRP levels (< 0.72 mg/l), and composite genotype analysis of IL1B-511/IL1B + 3954 supported this finding. Our findings suggest that in healthy people, basal CRP levels are regulated by IL1B but not by IL6 genetics.

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