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Eur J Immunol. 2001 Aug;31(8):2357-61.

A gender--dependent genetic predisposition to produce high levels of IL-6 is detrimental for longevity.

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Department of Experimental Pathology, Bologna University, Bologna, Italy.


Current literature indicates that elevated IL-6 serum levels are associated with diseases, disability and mortality in the elderly. In this paper, we studied the IL-6 promoter genetic variability at -174 C/G locus and its effect on IL-6 serum levels in a total of 700 people from 60 to 110 years of age, including 323 centenarians. We found that the proportion of homozygotes for the G allele at -174 locus decreases in centenarian males, but not in centenarian females. Moreover, we found that, only among males, homozygotes for the G allele at -174 locus have higher IL-6 serum levels in comparison with carriers of the C allele. On the whole, our data suggest that those individuals who are genetically predisposed to produce high levels of IL-6 during aging, i.e. -174 locus GG homozygous men, are disadvantaged for longevity.

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