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Background: The cytokines tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α and interleukin (IL)10 have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD), with increased concentrations reported in patients with active disease. However, limited data exist on their effects on disease phenotype in the same population. Certain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the promoter region of the IL10 (-1082G/A, -592C/A) and TNFα (-308G/A, -857C/T) genes have been associated with altered levels of circulating IL10 and TNFα.
Methods: We conducted an Australian based case–control study (304 CD patients; 231 healthy controls) of these four SNPs. Further investigation of two SNPs was conducted using a logistic regression analysis.
Results: We identified a possible association of both IL10 SNPs and TNFα-857 with CD. Further investigation of a relationship with disease severity showed a significant association of higher producing IL10-1082G and TNFα-857C alleles with stricturing behaviour, which was strongest when these alleles were combined and persisted after multivariate analysis (p = 0.007; odds ratio (OR) 2.37, 95% CI 1.26 to 4.43). In addition, the TNFα-857CC genotype was independently associated with familial CD (p = 0.03; OR 3.12; 95% CI 1.15 to 8.46).
Conclusion: These two SNPs may help to predict disease behaviour in CD patients, which may be clinically useful in shaping treatment of the disease at an earlier stage.