A study of five human cytokine genes in human essential hypertension

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


With a view to evaluating the putative involvement of cytokine gene variants in human essential hypertension, we carried out an association (case-control) study on 174 unrelated nationals (81 hypertensives and 93 normotensives) from the Abu Dhabi Emirate (UAE), a genetically homogeneous population also characterised by the absence of traditional confounding factors such as alcohol consumption and smoking. To that end, we targeted our investigation to five candidate gene loci-transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), epidermal growth factor (EGF), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) and tumour-necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) genes. We investigated the distribution of genotypes and alleles of the six following dimorphic variants: TGF-beta1(*)10(T>C) and TGF-beta1(*)25(G>C), located at codons 10 and 25, respectively, of TGF-beta1; T874A in intron 1 of IFN-gamma; G61A in exon 1 of EGF; TaqI dimorphism at +3962 (exon 5) of IL-1beta; and -308A>G in the promoter of TNF-alpha. These six bi-allelic markers were visualised by methods based on the techniques of amplification refractory mutation system-polymerase chain reaction (for TGF-beta1, IFN-gamma, EGF and TNF-alpha) and by polymerase chain reaction-TaqI restriction endonuclease analysis in the case of IL-1beta. In each of the two groups (normotensives and hypertensives), genotype frequencies of all six markers occurred in Hardy-Weinberg proportions. There were, however, no statistical differences in the allele and genotype frequencies of any of the six markers between the two groups of subjects: TGF-beta1(*)10C frequencies were 0.46 and 0.49 (chi(2)=0.61; 2 d.f.; P=0.74) and TGF-beta1(*)25C were 0.07 and 0.08 (chi(2)=0.61; 2 d.f.; P=0.74) amongst normotensives and hypertensives, respectively; p(IFN-gamma(*)A874) were 0.41 in normotensives versus 0.46 in hypertensives (chi(2)=3.07; 2 d.f.; P=0.22); p(EGF (*)G61) were 0.51 versus 0.58 (chi(2)=1.76; 2 d.f.; P=0.41); p[IL-1beta (*)TaqI(+)] were 0.43 versus 0.36 (chi(2)=2.08; 2 d.f.; P=0.35); and p(TNF-alpha(*)-308G) were 0.80 versus 0.85 (chi(2)=1.29; 2 d.f.; P=0.53). There was also no difference in distribution and frequencies of haplotypes constructed with combinations of TGF-beta1(*)10(T>C) and TGF-beta1(*)25(G>C) sites. However, although they do not reach statistical significance (which may be due to the relatively restricted number of subjects included in this study), the distribution differences (in normotensives and hypertensives) observed in the cases of EGF and TNF-alpha reflect trends that could be expected from a mechanistic explanation of the pathways that underlie the patho-physiology of hypertension.


Molecular Immunology