Less frequent and less severe flu-like syndrome in interferon beta-1a treated multiple sclerosis patients with at least One allele bearing the G>C polymorphism at position -174 of the IL-6 promoter gene

Diego Bertoli, Federico Serana, Alessandra Sottini, Cinzia Cordioli, Davide Maimone, Maria Pia Amato, Diego Centonze, Ciro Florio, Elisa Puma, Ruggero Capra, Luisa Imberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One of the most common adverse event of interferon beta (IFNβ) therapy for multiple sclerosis is flu-like syndrome (FLS), which has been reportedly related to increased levels of cytokines such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Average cytokine levels can be affected by single nucleotide polymorphism in the gene promoter regions. To investigate whether IL-6-174 G>C and TNF-α -376 G>A polymorphisms could be correlated to the incidence of FLS, and whether an anti-inflammatory/antipyretic therapy may influence FLS development, a prospective observational study was performed in 190 treatment naive, multiple sclerosis patients who started IM IFNβ-1a 30mcg once weekly. The identification of IL-6-174 G>C and TNF-α -376 G>A polymorphisms was achieved by performing an amplification-refractory mutation system. Serum IL-6 levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in blood samples taken before therapy and then after the first and last IFNβ-1a injection of the follow-up. FLS-related symptoms were recorded by patients once per week during the first 12 weeks of therapy into a self-reported diary. We found that patients carrying at least one copy of the C allele at position -174 in the promoter of IL-6 gene produced lower levels of IL-6 and were less prone to develop FLS, which was also less severe. On the contrary, the polymorphism of TNF-α had no effect on FLS. Patients taking the first dose of anti-inflammatory/antipyretic therapy in the peri-injection period (within 1 hour) experienced a reduced FLS severity. In conclusion, the study of IL-6-174 G>C polymorphism would allow the identification of patients lacking the C nucleotide on both alleles who are at risk of a more severe FLS, and may be addressed to a timely and stronger anti-inflammatory/antipyretic therapy for a more effective FLS prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0135441
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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