Background: Previous studies have shown that cytokine gene polymorphisms may confer susceptibility to psoriasis.
Objectives: To determine whether genetic polymorphisms of the cytokine genes might influence the development of psoriasis in Chinese patients in Taiwan.
Methods: DNA samples were obtained from 170 patients with psoriasis vulgaris (PV), 102 patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and 210 control subjects. Using direct sequencing and microsatellite genotyping, we examined 28 polymorphisms in 11 cytokine genes including the interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-1 receptor antagonist, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12B, IL-13, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, TNF-beta and interferon-gamma genes. Genotypes of HLA-Cw*0602, killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes and major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene A (MICA) were also determined in patients with PsA.
Results: The patients with PV were more likely to carry the +4496G allele of the IL-12B gene (59.4% vs. 49.3%, P = 0.0067, P(c) = 0.033). However, no significantly different allelic and genotypic distributions of the other analysed genes including IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, TNF-beta, KIR genes and MICA were found between the PV/PsA patients and controls. Moreover, no association was observed with disease onset, gender, peripheral arthritis or joint erosion. With regards to HLA-Cw*0602, its allele frequency was significantly increased in patients with early-onset PV (25.3% vs. 4.8%, P < 10(-7)), but not in patients with PsA.
Conclusions: The IL-12B gene polymorphism conferred a risk for PV in our Chinese population, although the effect was more minor than that of HLA-Cw*0602. Cw*0602, KIR2DS1/S2 and MICA-A9 were unlikely to be risk alleles in our patients with PsA. The other analysed genetic polymorphisms of cytokine genes do not appear to be associated with susceptibility to PV and PsA in Chinese patients in Taiwan.