Genetic polymorphisms of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) promoter gene and response to TNF-α inhibitors in Spanish patients with inflammatory bowel disease



Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) has an important role in inflammatory response. Alterations in the regulation of TNF-α have been implicated in a variety of inflammatory disorders, including Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Indeed, a common treatment for IBD is the use of TNF-α inhibitors. Polymorphisms in the TNF-α promoter region are known to affect the level of gene expression. Our aim was to investigate the influence of these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TNF-α promoter gene play in the risk of IBD in a Spanish population and their individual response to anti-TNF-α treatment. DNA samples from patients with IBD and controls were screened for TNF-α −238G/A (rs361525) and −308G/A (rs1800629) SNPs by PCR-SSOP using a microbeads luminex assay and compared with response to TNF-α inhibitors. There were not statistical differences in −238G/A and −308G/A allele and genotype frequencies between patients. However, we found an increased frequency of −308A allele and −308GA genotype in these nonresponders patients to TNF-α inhibitors with respect to responders patients (Pc < 0.05). This −308GA genotype has been classified as high producer of this cytokine. This fact could actually be interesting to explain the different response of patients with IBD with respect to TNF-α inhibitors. TNF-α promoter gene polymorphism does not seem to play a role in IBD susceptibility, but particular TNF-α genotypes may be involved in the different responses to TNF-α inhibitor treatment in Spanish patients with IBD.