Interleukin-4 (IL4) -590C/T (rs2243250) gene polymorphism is not associated with diabetic nephropathy (DN) in Caucasians with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)

  • Matej Završnik Department for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Clinic for Internal Medicine, University Medical Centre Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
  • Jernej Letonja Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Jana Makuc Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital Slovenj Gradec, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
  • Maja Šeruga Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital Murska Sobota, Murska Sobota, Slovenia
  • Ines Cilenšek Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Daniel Petrovič Institute of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Keywords: Interleukin 4, rs2243250, diabetic nephropathy, association study

Abstract

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a microvascular complication that affects up to 40% of diabetic patients and can lead to end-stage kidney disease. Inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-18 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) have been linked to the development and progression of DN. The aim of our study was to examine the relationship between interleukin-4 (IL4) -590C/T (rs2243250) gene polymorphism and DN in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study is a continuation of our previous research on the association between angiotensinogen (AGT) gene polymorphisms and DN in patients with T2DM. We included 651 unrelated Slovenian (Caucasian) patients who had had T2DM for at least 10 years. The participants were classified into a group of T2DM patients with DN (276 cases) and a group without DN (375 controls). IL4 rs2243250 polymorphism was analyzed using a TaqMan SNP genotyping assay and StepOne Real-Time PCR System. The frequencies of rs2243250 TT, CT and CC (wild type) genotypes were 3.2%, 29.4% and 67.4%, respectively in patients with DN, and 2.7%, 34.4% and 62.9%, respectively in controls. Our logistic regression analysis adjusted for gender, age, diabetes duration, and glycated hemoglobin showed no association between rs2243250 and the risk for DN (OR 1.06; CI 0.37-3.05; p = 0.9). IL4 rs2243250 is not associated with DN in our subset of Slovenian patients with T2DM.

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Author Biographies

Matej Završnik, Department for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Clinic for Internal Medicine, University Medical Centre Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
Department for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases
Jana Makuc, Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital Slovenj Gradec, Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
Department of Internal Medicine
Maja Šeruga, Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital Murska Sobota, Murska Sobota, Slovenia
Department of Internal Medicine

References

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Boyle JP, Honeycutt AA, Narayan KM, Hoerger TJ, Geiss LS, Chen H, et al. Projection of diabetes burden through 2050: Impact of changing demography and disease prevalence in the U.S. Diabetes Care 2001;24(11):1936-40. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.24.11.1936.

Ayodele OE, Alebiosu CO, Salako BL. Diabetic nephropathy - A review of the natural history, burden, risk factors and treatment. J Natl Med Assoc 2004;96(11):1445-54.

Afkarian M, Sachs MC, Kestenbaum B, Hirsch IB, Tuttle KR, Himmelfarb J, et al. Kidney disease and increased mortality risk in type 2 diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol 2013;24(2):302-8. https://doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2012070718.

Freedman BI, Bostrom M, Daeihagh P, Bowden DW. Genetic factors in diabetic nephropathy. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2007;2(6):1306-16. https://doi.org/10.2215/CJN.02560607.

Navarro-González JF, Mora-Fernández C. The role of inflammatory cytokines in diabetic nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol 2008;19(3):433-42. https://doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2007091048.

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Interleukin-4 (IL4) -590C/T (rs2243250) gene polymorphism is not associated with diabetic nephropathy (DN) in Caucasians with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)
Published
2018-11-07
How to Cite
1.
Završnik M, Letonja J, Makuc J, Šeruga M, Cilenšek I, Petrovič D. Interleukin-4 (IL4) -590C/T (rs2243250) gene polymorphism is not associated with diabetic nephropathy (DN) in Caucasians with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Bosn J of Basic Med Sci [Internet]. 2018Nov.7 [cited 2020Oct.29];18(4):347-51. Available from: https://www.bjbms.org/ojs/index.php/bjbms/article/view/2688
Section
Translational and Clinical Research

INTRODUCTION

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by chronic hyperglycemia which develops as the result of reduced insulin secretion and/or ineffectiveness of produced insulin. Global prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in adults aged 20 to 79 years is estimated to rise from 8.8% in 2015 to 10.4% by the year 2040 [1]. Moreover, in the United States alone, a 165% increase in the prevalence of DM is expected between 2000 and 2050 [2].

Complications of diabetes can be classified as macrovascular and microvascular. A common microvascular complication is diabetic nephropathy (DN), a kidney disease defined by the presence of abnormal levels of urinary albumin and/or decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) that affects up to 40% of all patients with diabetes [3]. Patients with DN have a higher mortality rate and are more prone to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) compared to diabetic patients without DN [4].

Familial aggregation of albuminuria, end-stage kidney disease and chronic kidney disease, as well as differences in the prevalence of DN between populations, suggest a strong genetic component of DN [5]. Thus, identification of genes that might be involved in the onset and progression of DN is important for the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Immune-mediated inflammatory processes have been implicated in the pathophysiology of diabetes and its complications, and a number of studies investigated the specific roles of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-18, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) in the development of DN [6].

IL-4 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine involved in the regulation of the immune system at different levels. For example, IL-4 stimulates the proliferation of activated T and B cells, regulates the differentiation of B cells, promotes type 2 T helper (Th2) and inhibits type 1 T helper (Th1) cell differentiation [7-10]. In addition to lymphoid cells, IL-4 is able to modulate the differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis of other hematopoietic as well as non-hematopoietic cell populations [11].

IL-4 and the related signaling pathways have been linked to the development of autoimmune [12] and allergic diseases [13]. For instance, an association of allergic asthma with IL-4 was clinically demonstrated by a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness in patients with mild asthma after administration of IL-4 with a nebulizer [13]. Generally, it is suggested that allergic diseases are dependent on Th2 cells and related cytokines, whereas autoimmune diseases depend on Th1 cells and cytokines produced by monocytes [12]. The anti-inflammatory role of IL-4 in autoimmune diseases has been indicated based on its protective effects in murine models of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis [11,14].

The IL4 gene, located at the long arm of chromosome 5 (5q31), is 0.9 kb long and contains 4 exons [15]. Several studies have shown that a polymorphism in the promoter region of IL4 (IL4 -590C/T, rs2243250) might be associated with genetic susceptibility to atopic dermatitis [16], multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis [17], and atopic asthma [18].

In this study, we investigated the relationship between IL4 -590C/T (rs2243250) polymorphism and DN in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Patients

This study is a continuation of our previous research on the association between angiotensinogen (AGT) gene polymorphisms and DN in patients with T2DM [19]. We included 651 unrelated Slovenian (Caucasian) patients who had had T2DM for at least 10 years. The participants were classified into a group of T2DM patients with DN (276 cases) and a group without DN (375 controls) [19]. The diagnosis of T2DM and DN was made according to the World Health Organization diagnostic criteria. To avoid the confounding effect of impaired kidney function, patients with overt nephropathy were not enrolled in the study. Additional exclusion criteria were poor glycemic control, significant heart failure [New York Heart Association (NYHA) Classification II-IV], alcoholism, infection, and the presence of other causes of renal disease.

The study was approved by the national medical ethics committee and performed in compliance with the Helsinki declaration. All participants provided informed consent. Information on age, sex, blood pressure, duration of T2DM and hypertension, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, incidence of microvascular complications of T2DM (diabetic retinopathy [DR], DN, diabetic foot [DF]), duration of DR, estimated GFR (eGFR), hemoglobin (Hb), total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels was obtained by questionnaire [19].

Biochemical analyses

Plasma glucose, Hb, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), urea, creatinine, cystatin C, total cholesterol, LDLs, HDLs, and triglycerides (TGs) were determined by standard biochemical methods. Albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) was determined in three urine samples for each patient [19].

Genotyping

Genomic DNA was extracted from 100 µl of peripheral blood using a DNeasy Blood and Tissue Kit (Qiagen, Germany). IL4 rs2243250 polymorphism was analyzed using a TaqMan single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assay and 48-well StepOne Real-Time PCR System, according to the manufacturer’s instructions (Applied Biosystems, USA). The volume of PCR reaction (5 µl) was calculated with StepOne real-time PCR Systems software, and the following components were included in the reaction mix: TaqMan Universal Master Mix, mix of fluorescent dye (VIC/FAM)-labeled oligonucleotide primers, RNase-free H2O, and 0.5 µl of DNA. The amplification was carried out under the following conditions: step 1, pre-PCR plate read for 30 seconds at 60°C; step 2, pre-denaturation for 10 minutes at 95°C, repeating 35 cycles with denaturation for 15 seconds at 95°C and annealing/extension for 60 seconds at 60°C; step 3, post-PCR plate read for 30 seconds at 60°C. Three control samples with known genotypes and negative control were applied in each series.

Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis was conducted using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Continuous variables were compared by either unpaired Student’s t-test or Mann–Whitney U test. Chi-square test was used to compare discrete variables. The relationship between IL4 rs2243250 polymorphism and DN was assessed by logistic regression analysis, adjusted for gender, age, diabetes duration, and HbA1c concentration. The value of p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) was assessed by the Fisher’s exact test (http://ihg.gsf.de/).

RESULTS

Demographic and clinical characteristics of T2DM patients with and without DN are summarized in Table 1 and 2. Higher systolic blood pressure, higher ACR, presence of CVD, and increased levels of serum fasting glucose, HbA1c, urea, creatinine, and triglycerides were significantly more frequent in patients with DN. In addition, the prevalence of DR and DF was significantly higher in patients with DN compared to those without DN (Table 1). Similarly, serum cystatin C and creatinine levels were significantly higher in patients with DN (Table 2).

TABLE 1: Clinical characteristics of T2DM patients with and without DN
TABLE 2: Laboratory characteristics of T2DM patients with and without DN

The distribution of IL4 rs2243250 genotypes and alleles is shown in Table 3. rs2243250 was in HWE in both groups and there was no statistically significant difference in the genotype distribution between T2DM patients with and without DN (Table 3).

TABLE 3: Distribution of IL4-590C/T (rs2243250) genotypes and alleles in T2DM patients with DN (cases) and without DN (controls)

A logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate whether rs2243250 polymorphism was independently associated with DN after adjusting for gender, age, diabetes duration, and HbA1c concentration. The results indicated no relationship between rs2243250 polymorphism and DN in our cohort of T2DM patients (Table 4).

TABLE 4: Association of IL4-590C/T (rs2243250) polymorphism with DN in T2DM patients

DISCUSSION

Chronic inflammation is considered to be the underlying cause of DN. In tissue and organs, different types of immune cells function as internal sensors of damage and thus have a primary role in the process of inflammation [20]. IL-4 is involved in the differentiation of T cells and a change in the gene sequence might affect the anti-inflammatory function of protein, and consequently influence the pathogenesis of DN [9]. This assumption was the basis of our study, however, in our group of patients with T2DM we did not observe an association between IL4 -590C/T (rs2243250) polymorphism and DN.

Up until now, only two other studies have investigated the association between IL4 -590C/T polymorphism and DN. Arababadi [21] showed a significant difference in the genotype and allele frequencies of -590C/T SNP between T2DM patients with DN and healthy controls in a Rafsanjan population from the southeast of Iran [21]. Similarly, Neelofar et al. [22] found an association between IL4 -590C/T and IL6 -174G/C polymorphisms and chronic kidney disease in North Indian patients with T2DM [22]. In addition, Alsaid et al. [23] indicated that, in their group of Egyptian patients with diabetes, the heterozygous genotypes of IL4 -590 (CT) and IL13 -1112 (CT) could be considered as risk factors while the homozygous wild-type genotypes of both genes (CC) might be considered protective for T2DM [23].

Comparable to the results of the current study, Cilenšek et al. showed no association between IL4 -590C/T SNP and another microvascular complication of T2DM, proliferative DR, in Caucasians with T2DM [24].

We assume that the differences in the frequency of -590C/T alleles between diverse and geographically distant populations (in this case Iranian and Indian versus Slovenian population) might, at least partially, explain the discrepant results and the lack of association between IL4 rs2243250 and DN in our study.

Overall, we did not find an association between IL4 -590C/T gene polymorphism and DN in Slovenian (Caucasian) patients with T2DM. This implies that IL4 rs2243250 may not be a marker for DN in Caucasians with T2DM.

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

The authors declare no conflict of interests.

REFERENCES

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