Sequence variations in a variety of pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokine genes have been found to influence successful aging and longevity. Because of the role played by the transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) cytokine in inflammation and regulation of immune responses, the variability of the TGF-β1 gene may affect longevity by playing a role in inflamm-aging. Two polymorphisms, G/A-800 and C/T-509, located in the 5′ region, and two missense polymorphisms, T/C869 and G/C915 which change (Leu > Pro)10 and (Arg > Pro25, respectively, located in the signal peptide, were analysed in 419 subjects from Northern and Central Italy, including 172 centenarians and 247 younger controls. In addition, the effects of the TGF-β1 genetic variability on plasma levels of the biologically active form (naturally processed) of this cytokine were studied in 143 randomly selected subjects, including 73 centenarians. Significant differences were found at the +915 site as far as the C allele and GC genotype were concerned, both of them being lower in centenarians than in young controls (P = 0.034 and 0.028, respectively), but none of the other tested genetic variants was significantly different between centenarians and controls. Moreover, a particular haplotype combination (G-800/C-509/C869/C915 was notably lower in centenarians than in younger individuals (P = 0.007). Finally, active TGF-β1 plasma levels were significantly increased in the elderly group, but no relationship with TGF-β1 genotypes was observed. These results suggest that, at least in this population, the variability of the TGF-β1 gene influences longevity and that the age-related increase in plasma levels of active TGF-β1 seems not to be genetically regulated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology