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Eur Cytokine Netw. 2010 Dec;21(4):292-6. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2009.0209. Epub 2010 Nov 9.

Proinflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms in Behçet's disease.

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Molecular Immunology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic, systemic disease, characterized by oral and genital lesions, and ocular inflammation. There is evidence indicating altered levels of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in patients with BD. This study involved 150 patients with BD and 140 healthy controls, and investigated the role of proinflammatory cytokine gene polymorphisms in the disease. The frequency of the TNF-α (-238) G/G genotype was significantly higher in the patient group, compared to the controls (p < 0.001), whilst the G/A genotype was significantly lower in the patients with BD (p < 0.001). Patients with BD showed a significant increase in the TNF-α (- 308, - 238) GG haplotype (p < 0.001), whilst there was a significant decrease in the GA haplotype (p < 0.001). The heterozygous, IL-6 (- 174) C/G genotype (p = 0.005), and the IL-6 (- 174, nt565) haplotype CG (p < 0.001), were significantly decreased in the patient group. The increased production of proinflammatory cytokines in BD could be a consequence of specific, cytokine gene polymorphisms. Particular genotypes and haplotypes in TNF-α were over-represented in BD, which may, in turn, predispose individuals to this disease.

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