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Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1) polymorphism has been reported to be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the correlation between the polymorphism and SLE is poorly understood. In this study we investigated the role of this polymorphism together with that of chemokine SDF1-3′A and chemokine receptor CCR2-V64I. The association between gene polymorphism and SLE was explored by way of a case-control study. In 143 patients with SLE and 157 healthy controls, the polymorphisms of SDF1-3′A, −2518MCP-1 and CCR2-V64I were determined using PCR-RFLP and an amplification-refractory mutation system, respectively. No significant difference was found in allelic and genotype frequency of SDF1-3′A, CCR2-V64I and −2518MCP-1 between SLE patients and controls. However, a significant increase in the frequency of the AG genotype of MCP-1 was found among patients with arthritis (Pc=0.003, OR 3.08, 95%CI 1.27-7.57). The frequency of individuals having G at position −2518 of the MCP-1 gene was also increased among patients with arthritis (Pc=0.028, OR 2.99, 95%CI 1.13-8.08). It is noteworthy that the frequency of −2518MCP-1G in the Chinese Han population was 64%. The results indicate an association between the presence of G at position −2518 in the MCP-1 promoter region and the presence of arthritis in patients with SLE.