Background: Hemodialysis (HD) patients suffer from inflammation and accelerated atherosclerosis that accounts for a large number of premature deaths. The anti-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-10 gene is polymorphic and potential direct effects of IL-10 gene polymorphisms on the circulating serum levels of adhesion molecules, inflammation and atherosclerosis in HD patients still have to be elucidated.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, circulating serum levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin (E-selectin), and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), serum albumin and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in 121 HD patients (70 male and 51 female, with mean age 49 +/- 18 yrs). Carotid artery intima media thickness (IMT) was evaluated by Doppler ultrasonography. Patients were genotyped for the polymorphic base at position -1082 of the IL-10 promoter sequence by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Results: Circulating serum levels of all three adhesion molecules were higher in patients with -1082/AA genotype (p = 0.001). Higher serum albumin levels together with lower CRP levels were observed in patients with -1082/GG genotype (p < 0.05). Prevalence of atherosclerosis was higher in patients with -1082/AA genotype compared to heterozygous and -1082/GG genotype (41, 34 and 26%, respectively, p = 0.018).
Conclusions: These results suggest that IL-10 gene polymorphism has an effect on inflammatory process and atherosclerosis in HD patients. Endothelial protective functions of IL-10 can modulate the circulating serum levels of adhesion molecules. Therefore, IL-10 gene polymorphism could lead to high or low inflammatory process and consequently, to atherosclerosis. IL-10 genotyping can define a high-risk group for atherosclerosis among HD patients.