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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007 Feb;44(2):171-9.

Polymorphisms of tumor necrosis factor-alpha but not MDR1 influence response to medical therapy in pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Clinica Pediatrica Università La Sapienzá, Roma, Italy.



We investigated the contribution of variants of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and MDR1 genes in the predisposition and response to medical therapy in a large pediatric cohort of patients with Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).


In this study, 200 patients with CD, 186 patients with UC, 434 parents (217 trios), and 347 healthy unrelated controls were investigated. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms -G308A and -C857T of the TNF-alpha gene and C3435T of the MDR1 gene were investigated and correlated with clinical subphenotypes and efficacy of medical therapy.


The frequency of the -308A allele of the TNF-alpha gene was significantly increased in both patients with CD (15%; odds ratio [OR] = 2.79; P < 0.01) and patients with UC (11%; OR = 1.96; P < 0.003) compared with controls (6%). Carriers of this allele were 27% in CD (OR = 2.94; P < 0.01) and 19% in UC (OR = 1.86; P = 0.015) compared with 11% in healthy controls. No significant difference was found for both the -C857T and C3435T single-nucleotide polymorphisms. With the genotype/phenotype analysis, no correlation in patients with UC with the MDR1 gene was found. CD carriers of the -308A allele had a higher frequency of surgical resection (35% vs 20%; OR = 2.1; P = 0.035) and more frequent resistance to steroids (22% vs 8%; OR = 0.29; P = 0.032) compared with noncarriers. These findings were confirmed by stepwise logistic regression.


In our pediatric cohort, the promoter -308A polymorphism of TNF-alpha but not the MDR1 gene is significantly involved in the predisposition to both CD and UC. This polymorphism carries a significant reduction in response to steroid therapy, probably leading to a more frequent need for surgical resection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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