Inflammatory response genes differentially expressed in a Colombian university cohort with alcohol consumption problems
Alcohol dependence is a multifactorial inherited psychiatric disease that is difficult to diagnose and treat. Recent years have seen an increase in knowledge about molecular pathways and effect of proinflammatory cytokines on alcohol dependence. Understanding this pathology as an inflammatory condition opens the possibility of using new therapeutic agents to treat its harmful effects. The objective of this study was to determine if there was a difference in gene expression of inflammatory response genes between two groups of university Colombians, one with a problem with alcohol (n=25) and one without, as a control (n=25). In previous research conducted by our research group, involving more than 30 single nucleotide variants of more than 10 inflammatory response genes, certain haplotypes, interactions, and gene networks were identified that indicated differences between alcoholics and controls in the genes SNCA, Il6R1, TNFR1, and MIF. Total RNA from blood mononuclear cells was extracted by determining the relative expression by qPCR of these genes; using ELISA, the concentration of their protein products in plasma was determined. There were differences in the relative expression of the TNFR1 and MIF genes, with a decrease in individuals with problematic alcohol consumption. The relative transcription of SNCA increased in men, whereas there were no changes in women. Nevertheless, there were no significant differences observed in the SNCA, IL6R1, and TNFR1 proteins, whereas MIF was decreased in the overall sample. On the other hand, SNCA, IL6R1 and MIF proteins showed differences in men. We observed disparities in the expression of these inflammatory response genes when comparing controls and cases. These findings demonstrate that SNCA, IL6R1, and MIF are candidates for further study as potential therapeutic targets in disease conditions related to alcohol abuse.