Background: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist tocilizumab has been shown to lower serum Lp(a) concentrations. We investigated whether the IL-6 single nucleotide polymorphism -174G/C is associated with baseline serum Lp(a) concentrations. Methodology/Principal Findings: We divided 2321 subjects from the Lipid Analytic Cologne (LIANCO) cohort into 2 groups, the ones with substantially elevated Lp(a), defined as concentrations ≥60 mg/dl (n = 510), and the ones with Lp(a) < 60 mg/dl (n = 1811). The association with the genotypes GG (33.7%), GC (50.75%) and CC (15.55%) was investigated. The GC and the CC genotype were associated with a significantly increased odds ratio of having substantially elevated Lp(a) concentrations (OR = 1.3, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.63, P = 0.02 and OR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.93, P = 0.018). These associations remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, smoking behavior, body mass index, serum lipoproteins, hypertension and diabetes. Of these covariates, only LDL cholesterol was significantly and independently associated with elevated Lp(a) concentrations. Conclusions/Significance: The IL-6 single nucleotide polymorphism -174G/C is associated with increased odds of having elevated Lp(a). Whether this association plays a role in the Lp(a)-lowering effects of IL-6 receptor antagonists remains to be established. © 2011 Berthold et al.
Berthold, H. K., Laudes, M., Krone, W., & Gouni-Berthold, I. (2011). Association between the interleukin-6 promoter polymorphism -174G/C and serum lipoprotein(a) concentrations in humans. PLoS ONE, 6(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0024719