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Genetic variation in PBMC-produced IFN-γ and TNF-α associations with relapse in multiple sclerosis


Zhou, Y and Taylor, B and van der Mei, I and Stewart, N and Charlesworth, J and Blizzard, L and Ponsonby, AL and Dwyer, T and Pittas, F and Simpson Jr, S, Genetic variation in PBMC-produced IFN-γ and TNF-α associations with relapse in multiple sclerosis, Journal of The Neurological Sciences, 349, (1-2) pp. 40-44. ISSN 0022-510X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jns.2014.12.022


Background: Alterations in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cytokine production have been found in multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to healthy controls. We have previously found that stimulated PBMC-produced TNF-α and IFN-γ modulated MS relapse risk, such that raised TNF-α was protective, while raised IFN-γ increased relapse risk.

Objective: To assess whether SNPs within genes for relevant cytokines and their receptors modulate the associations of TNF-α and IFN-γ with relapse, thus providing additional information about these cytokine effects and the roles of these genes in MS.

Methods: Prospective cohort of 91 participants with relapsing–remitting MS and cytokine and genotype data. SNPs (N = 361) within a window of 10 kb around each cytokine/cytokine receptor gene (N = 84) were selected for analysis. Predictors of PBMC cytokines were evaluated by multilevel mixed-effects linear regression. Predictors of relapse were evaluated by Cox proportional hazards regression. Bonferroni correction was used to adjust for multiple testing; thus p < 1.39 × 10− 4 was defined as significant.

Results: Individuals of GG genotype of rs3218295 (within the gene IL2RB) demonstrated a significant protective effect of TNF-α on relapse while those of GA/AA genotype showed a significant positive association (pinteraction = 5.04 × 10− 5). Carriers of CC genotype of rs522807 (3′ region of TNFRSF1B) and the AA genotype of rs25879 (5′ region of IL3) showed a strong association between IFN-γ and increased relapse risk (pinteraction = 8.21 × 10− 5 and 1.70 × 10− 5, respectively).

Conclusions: Our results show novel modulation of TNF-α and IFN-γ associations with relapse by SNPs in major cytokines. These findings suggest the potential for these genes and/or their products as potential therapeutic targets in MS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:epidemiology, interferon-gamma, multiple sclerosis, peripheral blood mononuclear cell, relapse, tumour necrosis factor alpha
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Zhou, Y (Mr Yuan Zhou)
UTAS Author:Taylor, B (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Stewart, N (Dr Niall Stewart)
UTAS Author:Charlesworth, J (Dr Jac Charlesworth)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Pittas, F (Dr Fotini Pittas)
UTAS Author:Simpson Jr, S (Dr Steve Simpson JR)
ID Code:99520
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-03-26
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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