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Int J Immunogenet. 2013 Jun;40(3):204-8. doi: 10.1111/iji.12014. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Association of interleukin-18 promoter polymorphisms with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in male smokers.

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Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is considered a complex genetic disorder and it is expected that many genes play a role in the pathogenesis of this disease. Previous studies have reported that several variations within the interleukin (IL)-18 gene promoter region have been associated with different inflammatory diseases such as asthma. However, the association of IL-18 promoter polymorphisms with COPD has not been studied yet. We then performed a prospective case-control study to explore this association in male smokers of Chinese Han people. Our study recruited 112 COPD cases and 105 healthy controls matched for age. The genotyping of IL-18 promoter polymorphisms (-607 C/A and -137 G/C) was performed using TaqMan single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping assays. The frequencies of the alleles and genotypes in patients and controls were compared. We found that the frequency of IL-18 -607 C allele was significantly increased in patients with COPD (odds ratio (OR) = 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-2.15, P = 0.04). The frequency of IL-18 -607 C allele was significantly higher in the GOLD (Global initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease) 3-4 group compared with the GOLD 1-2 group (OR=2.06, 95% CI = 1.21-3.51, P = 0.01). There were no significant differences in the frequencies of the alleles and genotypes of IL-18 -137 G/C polymorphism between the patients and healthy smokers or between GOLD 3-4 group and GOLD 1-2 group. Our study revealed that the IL-18 -607 C/A polymorphism was associated with COPD susceptibility and severity of airflow limitation in male smokers of Chinese Han people.

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