Background/aims: To determine whether four expression-related cytokine polymorphisms are associated with age related macular degeneration (AMD).
Methods: DNA from 478 cases with AMD and 555 normal controls was genotyped for the pro-inflammatory IL 1β -511C/T, IL 6 -174C/G, IL 8 -251A/T and anti-inflammatory IL 10 -1082G/A cytokine polymorphisms using the 5' nuclease Taqman assay for allelic discrimination. Associations with AMD were analysed using allelic frequencies.
Results: The -251A allele of the IL 8 promoter gene polymorphism was more prevalent in AMD patients than controls (P=0.037, OR=1.21, 95% CI=1.01-1.44). Adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), current smoking and past smoking status did not alter the AMD association significantly (PC= 0.043, OR=1.23, 95% CI=1.0 to 1.50).
Conclusion: The pro-inflammatory homozygous IL 8 -251AA genotype is an important risk factor for AMD. This may have implications for future therapy with biological agents that could target this cytokine.