HLA-DRB1*1501 intensifies the impact of IL-6 promoter polymorphism on the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis in an Iranian population

M. Shahbazi, H. Ebadi, D. Fathi, D. Roshandel, M. Mohamadhosseni, A. Tahmasebi, S. Shahbazi, M. Zamani, A. Rashidbaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The multifunctional cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is involved in inflammatory processes in the central nervous system. It is well documented that amount of IL-6 is increased in serum, cerebrospinal fluid and central nervous system lesions of patients with multiple sclerosis. A single nucleotide polymorphism at position -174 in the IL-6 gene promotor appears to influence IL-6 expression. Recently, several researchers have focused on HLA-DRB alleles, specifically HLA-DRB1*1501, as a potential risk allele in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Objective: To investigate the possible influence of IL-6/-174 polymorphisms on susceptibility to multiple sclerosis and its integration with HLA-DRB1*1501. Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood of 345 patients with multiple sclerosis and 426 control subjects. Method: The SSP-PCR method was used to determine genotypes and Fisher's exact test was applied to determine differences between groups. HLA-DRB1*1501 was observed more frequently among multiple sclerosis patients compared with healthy subjects (45% and 34%, respectively; OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.2-2.2, p = 0.0018). At the IL-6/-174 position, the G allele had higher frequency among multiple sclerosis patients compared with controls (77% and 70%, respectively; OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1-1.8, p = 0.0038). This difference was more significant among HLA-DRB1*1501-positive patients and controls (81% and 67%, respectively; OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.5-2.5, p < 0.0001). Results: Our results have shown that the G allele at the IL-6/-174 promoter polymorphism may be associated with development of multiple sclerosis in this population, and may be strengthened by HLA-DRB1*1501. Conclusions: We suggest more studies to confirm these results in other populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1177
Number of pages5
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


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