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Int J Sports Med. 2009 Sep;30(9):691-4. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1214380. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

The cartilage intermediate layer protein gene is associated with lumbar disc degeneration in collegiate judokas.

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Nippon Sport Science University, Tokyo, Japan.


Lumbar disc degeneration is frequently seen in athletes. Lumbar disc diseases include a spectrum of diseases and/or symptoms, including lumbar disc degeneration. Some reports suggest an association between lumbar disc diseases and a functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP;1184T/C, rs 2073711) of the cartilage intermediate layer protein ( CILP) gene. We hypothesized that lumbar disc degeneration occurrence may be significantly associated with SNP variants at the CILP gene in Japanese collegiate judo athletes. Eighty-nine Japanese judo athletes participated in this study. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was used to define lumbar disc degeneration. Genotyping of the CILP gene (1184T/C) was performed using DNA sequencing. By using logistic regression analysis, significant associations of lumbar disc degeneration with the CILP C allele (odds ratio=4.1, 95% confidence interval: 1.57-10.71) and body weight (odds ratio=1.06, 95% confidence interval: 1.02-1.09) were observed. We conclude that the CILP gene 1184T/C polymorphism is a significant risk factor for lumbar disc degeneration occurrence in Japanese collegiate judo athletes.

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