Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene polymorphism as a disease severity factor in systemic lupus erythematosus

Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Sep;37(9):1380-5. doi: 10.1002/art.1780370917.


Objective: We have previously described associations between an allele of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene (IL1RN) and several inflammatory diseases. In this study we tested the IL1RN gene as a possible marker in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Eighty-one SLE patients and 261 ethnically matched control subjects were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction.

Results: We found an increase in both frequency and carriage rate of IL1RN*2 in the SLE group. This association strengthened with extensive disease and particularly with the presence of photosensitivity and discoid skin lesions.

Conclusion: We describe a novel association between IL1RN*2 and SLE. Carriage of the allele seems to influence severity rather than susceptibility to SLE. We postulate that the association of this polymorphism with disease severity is a widespread feature of common inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / classification
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology*
  • Molecular Probes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Molecular Probes
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1