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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Mar;190(3):702-6.

Interleukin-4 and -10 gene polymorphisms and spontaneous preterm birth in multifetal gestations.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Divisions of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between maternal and fetal carriage of different alleles of interleukin-4 and -10 genes and pregnancy outcome in multifetal gestations.


Buccal swabs from mother-infant pairs of 73 multifetal gestations were assayed for polymorphisms at position -590 of the interleukin-4 gene and position -1082 of the interleukin-10 gene. Pregnancy outcome data were obtained subsequently.


Spontaneous preterm birth occurred in 29 of the pregnancies (39.7%). A higher frequency of the interleukin-4 T allele was found among mothers with spontaneous preterm birth compared with mothers without spontaneous preterm birth (36.2% vs 18.2%; P=.02; odds ratio, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1-5.9). Moreover, 20.7% of mothers who had spontaneous preterm birth were homozygous for the interleukin-4 T allele, as opposed to only 2.3% of mothers who did not have a spontaneous preterm birth (P=.01; odds ratio, 11.2; 95% CI, 1.2-69.5). Similarly, in 55.2% of the pregnancies that were complicated by spontaneous preterm birth, 2 fetuses carried the interleukin-4 T allele, compared with only 29.5% of the pregnancies that were not complicated by spontaneous preterm birth (p<.05; odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.0-8.8). There was no relationship between mother and infant IL-10 genotype and spontaneous preterm birth.


Maternal and fetal carriage of the interleukin-4 T allele is associated with an increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth in multifetal gestations.

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