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 IL1β −511C/T, IL6 −174C/G, IL8 −251A/T and anti-inflammatory IL10 −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 IL8 promoter gene polymorphism was more prevalent in AMD patients than controls (p = 0.037, OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.01 to 1.44). Adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), current smoking and past smoking status did not alter the AMD association significantly (corrected p value = 0.043, OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.0 to 1.50).
Conclusion: The pro-inflammatory homozygous IL8 –251AA genotype is an important risk factor for AMD. This may have implications for future therapy with biological agents that could target this cytokine.
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Funding: Grant support from Lord Sandberg, Macular Disease Society, Brian Mercer Trust and the Wellcome Trust.
Competing interests: None.
Patient consent: Informed and written consent was obtained.