Toll-Like Receptor 2 Gene Polymorphisms Arg677Trp and Arg753Gln in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of death worldwide, with a continually rising mortality rate. As COPD is driven by abnormal pulmonary and systemic inflammation, Toll-like receptors (TLRs) seem to be important. TLRs play a key role in innate response, and in particular TLR2 gene polymorphisms Arg677Trp and Arg753Gln have been linked to an increased risk of infection. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there is a link between polymorphisms in TLR2 and the onset or course of COPD. We analyzed 149 Caucasian COPD patients and 150 healthy individuals by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. To further characterize the disease, patients were classified according to GOLD and divided into two subgroups comprising a stable (60/149) course and an unstable (89/149) course. The TLR2 Arg677Trp mutant allele was not found in any of the subjects. With a prevalence of 8.72% (13/149) for TLR2 Arg753Gln, the patients did not differ from the controls, with a prevalence of 10.67% (16/150). No significant difference was apparent (P = 0.571). None of the individuals showed homozygosity for TLR2 Arg753Gln. With regard to the course of COPD, the prevalence of TLR2 Arg753Gln in the control group did not differ significantly either from the stable subgroup (P = 0.196) or from the unstable subgroup (P = 0.891). Our results suggest that there is no association of the TLR2 polymorphisms Arg677Trp and Arg753Gln with either the onset or the course of COPD.

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