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Eur Cytokine Netw. 2002 Jan-Mar;13(1):72-7.

The interleukin-6 G(-174)C polymorphism and the ex vivo interleukin-6 response to endotoxin in severely injured blunt trauma patients.

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Department of Anesthesia, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the -174 G/C promoter polymorphism of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene is associated with the ex vivo, whole blood IL-6 response to endotoxin with the development of severe sepsis in severely injured, blunt trauma patients. Patients with a severe trauma and an injury severity score of 16 were included in the study. The IL-6 -174 G/C promoter polymorphism was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using specific fluorescence-labelled hybridisation probes. Whole blood of the patients was stimulated with endotoxin and the IL-6 concentrations were measured by ELISA. There was no association between the IL-6 -174 genotypes and the ex vivo, stimulated IL-6 response: 25% of the patients developed severe sepsis later in the clinical course. These patients had higher IL-6 concentrations following whole blood stimulation on day 1 (p = 0.046) after the trauma than patients with uncomplicated post-traumatic recovery. The difference was even more significant on day 2 after the trauma (p = 0.02). High IL-6 responses in a whole blood stimulation assay with endotoxin on days 1 and 2 after a trauma are associated with severe post-traumatic sepsis. Genotyping for the IL-6 -174 G/C polymorphism does not allow early identification of trauma patients with a high, ex vivo IL-6 synthesis capacity.

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