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Interleukin-4 Gene Polymorphism is not Involved in the Risk of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss


Address reprint requests to Yasuaki Saijo, Department of Public Heath, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638, Japan.


Problem:  Enhanced secretion of type-2 T-helper (Th2) cytokine is a characteristic feature in normal physiological pregnancy. A study has demonstrated defective production of interleukine-4 (IL-4) and other Th2 cytokine in women with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Several studies have suggested that IL-4 variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) gene polymorphism is probably associated with different IL-4 production.

Methods of study:  The IL-4 VNTR genotypes were assessed in 109 Japanese women with RPL and 210 ethnically matched women experiencing at least one live birth and no spontaneous abortion.

Results:  No significant differences in IL-4 VNTR genotype frequencies were found between the RPL and the control [B1B1 genotype (reference); B1/B2 and B2/B2 genotypes, odds ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.58–1.45].

Conclusion:  The present study suggests that the IL-4 VNTR allele is not a major genetic regulator in RPL.

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