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Hum Immunol. 1999 Apr;60(4):343-6.

CA repeat allele polymorphism in the first intron of the human interferon-gamma gene is associated with lung allograft fibrosis.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.


Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is an inflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the development of fibrosis in inflamed tissues. In this study we have analysed the association between genetically-determined high IFN-gamma production and development of fibrosis in lung transplants. The human IFN-gamma gene has a variable length CA repeat in the first intron. Our previous study showed that polymorphism of this microsatellite is associated with individual variation in the levels of IFN-gamma production. In vitro production of IFN-gamma showed significant correlation with presence of allele #2 (p < 0.01). In this study allele #2 was found to be associated with allograft fibrosis defined by transbronchial biopsy. An analysis of two groups of lung transplant recipients showed a significant increase in the frequency of allele #2 in the group which developed fibrosis after transplantation compared to the group that did not (p < 0.005). We postulate that the production of IFN-gamma, which is under genetic control, can influence the development of fibrosis in lung allografts.

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