Association of Epstein-Barr virus antibody titers with a human IL-10 promoter polymorphism in Japanese women

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Background. Multiple sclerosis (MS) risk, over 10-fold higher in Western than in Asian countries, is associated with elevated IgG antibody titers against Epstein-Barr viral capcid antigen (anti-EBVCA IgG titers). Given the 84% homology of the open reading frame BCRF1 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) to human interleukin 10 (hIL-10) and the remarkable Caucasian-vs.-Asian population differences in hIL-10 gene promoter polymorphisms, this strong association of MS risk with anti-EB-VCA IgG titers may be explained by the genetic variations in the hIL-10 gene. Methods. We evaluated anti-EB-VCA IgG titers in association with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter of hIL-10 at position -819 (hIL-10 T-819C) in a cross-sectional survey of 241 Japanese. Anti-EB-VCA IgG titer and its elevation (≥ 1:160) were evaluated, stratified by sex and hIL-10 T-819C genotype. Results. The cytosine-allele frequencies at hIL-10 T-819C were 32.9% in women and 30.9% in men. These are consistent with the published reports of Japanese and Chinese, but substantially lower than those of Caucasians (> 70%). In women, the proportion with elevated anti-EB-VCA IgG titers (≥ 1:160) increased appreciably from 53.7% in the T/T genotype group to 66.7% in the T/C group and to 83.3% in the C/C group (P-trend = 0.037). The titers did not differ by the hIL-10 T-819C genotype in men. Conclusion. Anti-EB-VCA IgG titers may increase with the number of cytosine alleles at hIL-10 T-819C in women. This observed gender specific association in Japanese warrants further investigation, especially in Western populations with high MS risk. © 2008 Yasui et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Yasui, Y., Hamajima, N., Nakamura, T., El-Din, N. S., Tajima, K., & Potter, J. D. (2008). Association of Epstein-Barr virus antibody titers with a human IL-10 promoter polymorphism in Japanese women. Journal of Autoimmune Diseases, 5.

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