IL-6promoter polymorphisms and quantitative traits related to the metabolic syndrome in KORA S4

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Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine which has been proposed as “cytokine for gerontologists” and linked to age-related metabolic disturbances such as the metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. Polymorphisms located in the promoter region of IL-6 have been reported to be involved in the regulation of IL-6 transcription. This study investigates whether IL-6 promoter variants −174 G/C and −573 G/C are associated with quantitative traits related to the metabolic syndrome (International Diabetes Federation criteria) in a population of normoglycemic subjects (n = 878) from the latest KORA survey (KORA S4). Genotyping was performed using MALDI-TOF MS. Besides lower height (p = 0.01) the −174 CC genotype was independently associated with lower waist (p = 0.002) and hip (p = 0.01) circumferences in men. Furthermore, the −174 CC genotype was associated with BMI (p = 0.004) when adjusted for waist and hip circumference. The present study does not suggest associations with further components of the metabolic syndrome. The association with height seems to be the central factor indicating an influence of IL-6 on growth through impaired bone metabolism. However, the complex relationships need further investigation.

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