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Interleukin-6 gene polymorphism -174G/C influences plasma lipid levels in women.

Journal article
Authors Susanne Henningsson
Anna Håkansson
Lars Westberg
Fariba Baghaei
Roland Rosmond
Göran Holm
Agneta Ekman
Hans Nissbrandt
Elias Eriksson
Published in Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)
Volume 14
Issue 11
Pages 1868-73
ISSN 1930-7381
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 1868-73
Language en
Keywords Adult, Body Mass Index, Female, Gene Frequency, Genotype, Humans, Interleukin-6, blood, genetics, Lipid Metabolism, genetics, Lipids, blood, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Genetic, Sex Factors, Triglycerides, blood, metabolism
Subject categories Physiology


Elevated levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been associated with cardiovascular risk factors. The objective of this study was to investigate potential associations between the promoter polymorphism IL-6 -174G/C and the following indices of metabolism: BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, and plasma levels of IL-6, cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, leptin, and C-reactive protein in 252 42-year-old women and 245 51-year-old men. Subgroups were also studied 5 years later. The CC genotype of the IL-6 polymorphism was associated with lower levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (p < 0.001) in women. This finding was replicated in the follow-up, when a significant association between the CC genotype and low triglycerides was also observed. The association between the C allele and lipid pattern found in women was not found in men, where on the contrary, C carriers tended to display elevated triglycerides. IL-6 genotype was not associated with IL-6 plasma levels in either sample. The results suggest different effects of the IL-6 polymorphism on metabolic indices in women and men. None of the associations between IL-6 genotype and lipid pattern seemed to result from an effect of the polymorphism on IL-6 plasma levels.

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