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The polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of cytokine genes have been considered as potential markers for disease susceptibility. Some of these polymorphisms are proved to have functional roles. These could be important for understanding the pathogenesis of myositis and MCTD, which are inflammatory diseases of unknown genetic background. Our aim was to investigate whether IV308 TNFA, -1082 IL10 and codon 25 TGFB1 gene polymorphisms associate with myositis and/or MCTD or with certain clinical and immunological parameters in these disorders.
72 patients with myositis and 24 patients with MCTD were genotyped for the above markers and compared with a control group from the same population. Gene specific PCR with restriction endonuclease mapping was used for the detection of polymorphisms.
Our preliminary data suggested that the frequency of T2 allele of TNF was significantly increased in myositis patients compared to the controls. There were 28 homozygous TNF1/TNF1 (39%), 39 heterozygous TNF1/TNF2 (54%) and 5 homozygous T2/T2 (7%) with frequency alleles 39 and 61% (TNF1 and TNF2 respectively). Regarding the MCTD patients there was a tendency for those patients who had high serum levels of TNF-α to carry the TNF2 allele (P value was 0.08). The frequencies of IL10 and TGFB1 alleles were not different in myositis or MCTD compared to the control group.
An increased frequency of the TNF2 allele which may be associated with high production of TNF-α levels was observed in myositis patients. This may be of importance for the pathogenesis of this disorders.