Vitiligo is a depigmenting disorder resulting from loss of functional melanocytes in the skin. NPY plays an important role in induction of immune response by acting on a variety of immune cells. NPY synthesis and release is governed by IL1B. Moreover, genetic variability in IL1B is reported to be associated with elevated NPY levels.
Aim of the present study was to explore NPY promoter −399T/C (rs16147) and exon2 +1128T/C (rs16139) polymorphisms as well as IL1B promoter −511C/T (rs16944) polymorphism and to correlate IL1B transcript levels with vitiligo.
PCR-RFLP method was used to genotype NPY -399T/C SNP in 454 patients and 1226 controls; +1128T/C SNP in 575 patients and 1279 controls and IL1B −511C/T SNP in 448 patients and 785 controls from Gujarat. IL1B transcript levels in blood were also assessed in 105 controls and 95 patients using real-time PCR.
Genotype and allele frequencies for NPY −399T/C, +1128T/C and IL1B −511C/T SNPs differed significantly (p<0.0001, p<0.0001; p = 0.0161, p = 0.0035 and p<0.0001, p<0.0001) between patients and controls. ‘TC’ haplotype containing minor alleles of NPY polymorphisms was significantly higher in patients and increased the risk of vitiligo by 2.3 fold (p<0.0001). Transcript levels of IL1B were significantly higher, in patients compared to controls (p = 0.0029), in patients with active than stable vitiligo (p = 0.015), also in female patients than male patients (p = 0.026). Genotype-phenotype correlation showed moderate association of IL1B -511C/T polymorphism with higher IL1B transcript levels. Trend analysis revealed significant difference between patients and controls for IL1B transcript levels with respect to different genotypes.
Our results suggest that NPY −399T/C, +1128T/C and IL1B −511C/T polymorphisms are associated with vitiligo and IL1B −511C/T SNP influences its transcript levels leading to increased risk for vitiligo in Gujarat population. Up-regulation of IL1B transcript in patients advocates its possible role in autoimmune pathogenesis of vitiligo.