Polymorphisms in cytokine genes influence cognitive and functional performance in a population aged 75 years and above

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To investigate the frequency of the cytokine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α −308G > A, tumor growth factor (TGF)-β1 codon +10C > T, TGF-β1 codon +25G > C, interleukin (IL)-10 −1082A > G, IL-10 −819C > T, IL-10 −592C > A, IL-6 −174G > C, and IFN-γ +874T > A in a sample of healthy and cognitively impaired elderlies and to verify the probable association between these SNPs and cognitive and functional performance of subjects aged 75 years and above.


259 Brazilian subjects were included, comprising 81 with cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) and 54 demented seniors (together made up the cognitively impaired group, CI) and 124 age-matched and gender-matched cognitively healthy controls (CHS). The genotyping was performed by multiplex polymerase chain reaction. The cognitive performance was evaluated by Mini-Mental State Examination Brief Cognitive Screening Battery. The functional performance was accessed by Functional Activities Questionnaire.


The CClower genotype of TGF-β1 codon +25G > C was frequent in both patient groups. The TThigher genotype of INF-γ +874T > A was less frequent in the dementia group. IL-10 haplotypes of lower expression were more frequent among CIND and demented patients. In CI, individuals with genetic variants that produce higher expression of TGF-β1, INF-γ, and IL-10 showed better normalized cognitive performance. Additionally, the Alower allele of INF-γ +874T > A was related to worse functional performance in CI, while the Alower allele of TNF-α −308G > A was associated with better cognitive and functional scores in the CIND group.


Our findings suggest a potential role for certain cytokine SNPs in the development of CIND and dementia, which may influence the functional and cognitive performance of these patients. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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