Research Article

Association between -174G/C and -572G/C interleukin 6 gene polymorphisms and severe radiographic damage to the hands of Mexican patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a preliminary report.


Several interleukin 6 gene (IL6) polymorphisms are implicated in susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It has not yet been established with certainty if these polymorphisms are associated with the severe radiographic damage observed in some RA patients, particularly those with the development of joint bone ankylosis (JBA). The objective of the present study was to evaluate the association between severe radiographic damage in hands and the -174G/C and -572G/C IL6 polymorphisms in Mexican Mestizo people with RA. Mestizo adults with RA and long disease duration (>5 years) were classified into two groups according to the radiographic damage in their hands: a) severe radiographic damage (JBA and/or joint bone subluxations) and b) mild or moderate radiographic damage. We compared the differences in genotype and allele frequencies of -174G/C and -572G/C IL6 polymorphisms (genotyped using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism) between these two groups. Our findings indicated that the -174G/C polymorphism of IL6 is associated with severe joint radiographic damage [maximum likelihood odds ratios (MLE_OR): 8.03; 95%CI 1.22-187.06; P = 0.03], whereas the -572G/C polymorphism of IL6 exhibited no such association (MLE_OR: 1.5; 95%CI 0.52-4.5; P = 0.44). Higher anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody levels were associated with more severe joint radiographic damage (P = 0.04). We conclude that there is a relevant association between the -174G/C IL6 polymorphism and severe radiographic damage. Future studies in other populations are required to confirm our findings.