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Nephron Clin Pract. 2013;123(1-2):67-73. doi: 10.1159/000351684. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Tumor necrosis factor alpha promoter polymorphism and severity of acute kidney injury.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Kidney and Dialysis Research Laboratory, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass., USA.



Tumor necrosis factor-alpha is a proinflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the pathobiology of acute kidney injury (AKI).


We explored the association of a functional polymorphism in the promoter region (rs1800629) of the TNFA gene with severity of AKI, as defined by level of glomerular filtration (serum cystatin C and creatinine) and tubular injury (urinary NAG, KIM-1, α-GST, and π-GST) markers, in 262 hospitalized adults.


In unadjusted analyses, compared with the GG genotype, the TNFA GA and AA genotype groups tended to have higher enrollment (p = 0.08), peak (p = 0.004), and discharge (p = 0.004) serum creatinine levels, and the AA genotype tended to have a higher enrollment serum cystatin C level (p = 0.04). Compared with the GG genotype, the TNFA GA and AA genotype groups tended to have a higher urinary KIM-1 level (p = 0.03), and the AA genotype group tended to have a higher urinary π-GST level (p = 0.03). After adjustment for sex, race, age, baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate, sepsis, and dialysis requirement, compared with the GG genotype, the TNFA minor A-allele group had a higher peak serum creatinine of 1.03 mg/dl (0.43, 1.63; p = 0.001) and a higher urinary KIM-1 (relative ratio: 1.73; 95% CI: 1.16, 2.59; p = 0.008). The TNFA minor A-allele group also had a higher Multiple Organ Failure score of 0.26 (95% CI: 0.03, 0.49; p = 0.024) after adjustment for sex, race, age, and sepsis.


The TNFA rs1800629 gene polymorphism is associated with markers of kidney disease severity and distant organ dysfunction among patients with AKI. Larger studies are needed to confirm these relationships.

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