Increases in Proinflammatory Cytokine Levels at Early Ages as a Risk Factor for the Development of Nervous and Mental Pathology
OBJECTIVE The fetal inflammatory response syndrome involving proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been associated with cystic periventricular leukomalacia (cPVL). We evaluated whether the development of cPVL is associated with the IL-6 G(-174)C polymorphism. METHODS 52 children with cPVL were compared to 46 preterm and 395 term controls using retrospective cohort analysis. IL-6 genotyping was performed using an allele specific polymerase chain reaction technique. RESULTS IL-6 G(-174)C polymorphisms did not differ between groups, but an association between mental retardation and the IL-6 C/C (78%) and G/C (43%) genotypes compared to the G/G (25%) genotype was found (p = 0.003 and 0.043, respectively; RR 3.11 (95% CI 1.54 to 6.29) and 1.79 (95% CI 1.10 to 2.92), respectively). CONCLUSIONS The IL-6 (-174) C/C and G/C genotypes were associated with mental retardation in cPVL and seem to modify the severity of perinatal brain injury.