Cytokine gene polymorphism and heart transplant rejection

Transplantation. 1997 Sep 15;64(5):776-9. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199709150-00021.


Background: Allograft rejection is mediated by cytokines. As polymorphism in cytokine genes can result in interindividual differences in cytokine production, we hypothesize that some patients may have an increased risk of rejection.

Methods: We have related polymorphisms that influence cytokine production in the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-A and interleukin (IL)-10 genes to early graft rejection in 115 heart transplant recipients.

Results: Certain combinations of TNF-A and IL-10 gene polymorphisms are associated with rejection. Five of 19 patients who had high levels of rejection typed as high TNF-alpha/low IL-10 producers compared with 4 of 96 patients with lower levels of rejection (P<0.005).

Conclusions: We have identified a particular cytokine genotype that may confer susceptibility to increased levels of early rejection. Patients with a worse prognosis may be able to be identified pretransplant by DNA analysis of TNF-A, IL-10, and other gene polymorphisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Graft Rejection / genetics
  • Heart Transplantation / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Cytokines
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10