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Mech Ageing Dev. 2003 Feb;124(2):199-206.

Study of age-association with cytokine gene polymorphisms in an aged Irish population.

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Northern Ireland Regional Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory, Blood Transfusion Building, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast BT9 7TS, UK.


The release of cytokines is of crucial importance in the regulation of the type and magnitude of the immune response in the elderly. A number of studies have shown different levels of cytokine production in the elderly. In the present study, a range of polymorphisms were chosen within the genes of cytokines (IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12 and IFN-gamma) that have been observed at different levels within the elderly and analysed for age-association. No association was observed for the polymorphic cytokine markers and the healthy aged Irish population (or with respect to gender) examined in this study. These findings would suggest that polymorphism of cytokine genes may not play as crucial a role in healthy ageing as previously believed.

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