Background and Objective: Biliary atresia (BA) is a destructive inflammatory obliterative cholangiopathy of neonates that affects both intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts. Although the etiology is unknown, immunologically mediated injury of the bile ducts triggered by as yet unidentified infectious agents is likely to play a critical role. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in immune, infectious, and inflammatory diseases because of its induction of interferon-gamma. In this study, we investigated whether polymorphisms of the IL18 gene were associated with susceptibility to BA.
Patients and Methods: Genomic DNA was extracted from whole-blood samples of 50 Taiwanese children with BA and 1117 ethnically matched healthy controls. The IL18 –1297 T/C, –607 C/A, –137 G/C, and +105 A/C polymorphisms were genotyped using the TaqMan assay.
Results: No statistically significant differences of genotype, allele, carrier, and haplotype frequencies of these IL18 gene variants were found between children with BA and healthy controls.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that the IL18 gene does not play a major role in BA predisposition in Taiwanese children.
*Departments of Pediatrics, Taiwan
†Medical Research, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
‡Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan
§Mackay Medicine, Nursing, and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan.
Received 6 December, 2010
Accepted 16 January, 2011
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Yann-Jinn Lee, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Mackay Memorial Hospital, No. 45 Min-Sheng Rd, Tamshui 25115, Taipei County, Taiwan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
This research was supported by grants MMH 9780 and MMH E-98007 from Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taiwan.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.