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Interleukin-8 promoter polymorphism −251A/T is a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration
  1. S V Goverdhan1,2,
  2. S Ennis3,
  3. S R Hannan2,
  4. K C Madhusudhana2,
  5. A J Cree1,
  6. A J Luff2,
  7. A J Lotery1,2
  1. 1
    Clinical Neurosciences Division, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
  2. 2
    Southampton Eye Unit, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
  3. 3
    Genetic Epidemiology & Bioinformatics, Human Genetics Division, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
  1. A Lotery, Clinical Neurosciences Division, Mailpoint 806, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; a.j.lotery{at}


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.

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