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Transplantation. 2003 Dec 27;76(12):1758-62.

High-producer interleukin-2 genotype increases risk for acute graft-versus-host disease after unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, MMC 484, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. macmi002@umn.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cytokine polymorphisms may modulate immunologic reactivity, including graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). A single nucleotide polymorphism resulting in a thymine-to-guanine transition in the interleukin (IL)-2 gene promoter region occurs at position -330. In vitro studies have shown that the G allele is associated with early and sustained enhancement of IL-2 production, a so-called high-producer genotype. Because IL-2 is a proinflammatory cytokine, we hypothesized that recipients with high-producer genotypes would have increased frequency of GVHD after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT).

METHODS:

We studied 95 consecutive donor and recipient pairs who received an unrelated donor BMT at the University of Minnesota. The median age at time of BMT was 14.1 years (range 0.9-54.8 years). Stem cells were human leukocyte antigen-A, B, and DRB1 matched in 70 cases (74%) and single-antigen mismatched in 25 cases (26%). GVHD prophylaxis consisted of cyclosporine-containing regimens (53%), T-cell depletion by elutriation (42%), and others (2%).

RESULTS:

The probability of grade II-IV acute GVHD at day 100 was 36% (95% confidence interval 26%-46%) and was significantly affected by the presence of recipient IL-2 G allele. The probability of acute GVHD was 49% in 49 patients (52%) with at least one G allele compared with 24% in 42 patients (44%) with no G allele (P<0.01). In the Cox regression analysis, the presence of at least one IL-2 G allele was associated with a twofold increased risk of acute GVHD.

CONCLUSIONS:

If confirmed by others, our results indicate that more intensive GVHD prophylaxis is needed for patients with at least one IL-2 G allele, possibly directed toward blunting early host cell production of IL-2.

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