Background: Small-vessel vasculitides are associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs). Cytoplasmic ANCAs are targeted mainly against proteinase 3 (PR3), whereas myeloperoxidase (MPO) is the major antigen of perinuclear ANCAs. These relapsing vasculitides show heterogeneous clinical pictures, and disease severity may vary broadly from mild local organ manifestation to acute organ failure (eg, renal failure). We tested whether two cytokine polymorphisms in the interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) genes, known to determine cytokine secretion, are associated with clinical manifestations and outcome of ANCA-associated vasculitides.
Methods: Polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses were performed to determine polymorphisms in the IL-1beta and IL-1ra genes in 79 patients with PR3-ANCA, 30 patients with MPO-ANCA vasculitis, and 196 healthy controls.
Results: The frequency of the so-called proinflammatory genotype, characterized by high secretion of IL-1beta and low secretion of its antagonist IL-1ra, was increased significantly in patients with PR3-ANCA with end-stage renal disease.
Conclusion: Patients with a renal manifestation of PR3-ANCA vasculitis have an increased risk for developing end-stage renal disease when carrying the proinflammatory IL-1beta/IL-1ra genotype. Anti-inflammatory therapy specifically antagonizing the proinflammatory effect of IL-1beta may be a promising treatment for patients with Wegener's granulomatosis with renal manifestations.