Polymorphisms in the interleukin-8 gene in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
ABSTRACT Airway inflammation is the main pathophysiological feature of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a potent chemoattractant for neutrophils and eosinophils. Increased IL-8 levels were observed in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and induced sputum in patients with COPD. To evaluate the role of the IL-8 gene, we genotyped blood samples of 122 COPD-patients and 385 healthy controls for a known polymorphism in the promoter region (-251 A/T) of the IL-8 gene. Additionally, we screened the coding region for further polymorphisms by SSCP analyses. Comparison of the allele and genotype frequencies among each group revealed no significant differences between patients and controls. Although IL-8 plays an important role in the chemotaxis of inflammatory cells, the polymorphisms investigated here do not seem to be involved in the genetic predisposition to COPD.