Study of Interleukin 6 Promoter Gene Polymorphism in Egyptian Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Its Correlation with Subclinical Atherosclerosis

1Rania El-saied El-kholy*, Radwa M El-khouly, AE El-deeb, Amal M El-Barbary, Hanaa Hibishy Gaballah, Rasha Ahmed Gaber, Nagat M El-Gazzar


The study was designed todetect IL-6 promoter gene polymorphism and its circulating level in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and study its association with disease activity, severity of joint damage, and subclinical atherosclerosis.Patients and methods: Study included 60 RA patients and 40 matched healthy controls. Patients were assessed by disease activity score (DAS28), functional assessment using the Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (MHAQ). Rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti CCP) antibodies, lipid profile and plasma IL-6 levels were measured. Genotyping for A -174G/C polymorphism of the IL-6 gene using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was done. Musculoskeletal and subclinical atherosclerosis ultrasonographic assessments were applied.Results: Plasma IL-6 was found to be significantly increased in RA patients compared to the controls (p<0.001). IL-6 significantly correlated with clinical, laboratory and radiological parameters of disease activity and severity and subclinical atherosclerosis. The IL-6 -174 C allele was significantly higher in patients than controls (p=0.04). In patients with _174 CC genotype, there were significantly increased parameters of disease activity, severity and subclinical atherosclerosis.Conclusion:IL-6 has an essential role in synovitis, bone erosions and inflammatory systemic features; IL-6 −174G/C promoter polymorphism is associated with disease susceptibility, activity and severity. The increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in RA patients appears to be autonomous of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.


Rheumatoid arthritis, ultrasound, interleukin-6, IL-6 −174G/C gene polymorphism, CVD.

Paper Details
IssueIssue 10