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Leukemia. 2012 Jun;26(6):1203-10. doi: 10.1038/leu.2011.341. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Polymorphisms in the TLR6 gene associated with the inverse association between childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and atopic disease.

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Department of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, Beatrix Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Little is known about the etiology of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The presence of atopic disease has been shown to protect against developing childhood ALL. The aim of this study was to examine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in innate immunity genes previously associated with atopic disease, can elucidate the inverse association between childhood ALL and atopic disease. We studied 525 children, including 192 with childhood ALL, 149 with atopic disease and 184 healthy control subjects. We compared genotype distributions of 29 SNPs in genes of TLR2, TLR4, TLR6, TLR9, TLR10 and CD14 between the three groups and corrected for multiple testing. The genotype distributions of two SNPs in the TLR6 gene, rs5743798 and rs6531666, differed significantly between children with ALL, children with atopic disease and control subjects. Particularly in children with atopic eczema, risk alleles for atopic disease were observed more often than in control subjects, and less often in children with ALL than in control subjects. These findings support the immune surveillance hypothesis as an explanation for the protective association of atopic disease on childhood ALL. Further investigation is warranted to examine in more detail the role of innate immunity in the development of childhood ALL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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