Association of interleukin-18 gene polymorphism with body mass index in women

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2012 Apr 24;10:31. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-10-31.


Background: Interleukin (IL)-18 is an important regulator of innate and acquired immune responses and has multiple roles in chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Obesity is characterized by low- grade chronic inflammation. IL-18 has been suggested as an adipogenic cytokine that is associated with excess adiposity. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between IL-18 gene polymorphisms (-137 G/C and -607 C/A) and obesity.

Methods: All 680 subjects were genotyped for the polymorphisms of IL-18 gene promoters (at positions -137 G/C and -607 C/A) using a polymerase chain reaction (271 cases with BMI ≥25 kg/m² and 409 controls with BMI <25 kg/m²). A chi-square test was used to compare the genotype and allele frequencies between the cases and control populations.

Results: Analyses of the genotype distributions revealed that IL-18 -607 C/A polymorphism was associated with an increase in body mass index in obese women in the Korean population (chi(2) = 12.301, df = 2, p = 0.015).

Conclusion: Carriage of the A allele at position -607 in the promoter of the IL-18 gene may have a role in the development of obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-18 / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide


  • Interleukin-18