Association of an interleukin-16 gene polymorphism with the risk and pain phenotype of endometriosis.


Xiao-Ling Gan, Yong-Hong Lin, Yi Zhang, Ting-He Yu, Li-Na Hu

DNA and Cell Biology



Interleukin-16 (IL-16), a proinflammatory cytokine, plays a pivotal role in inflammatory diseases as well as in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of IL-16 gene polymorphisms with the risk and clinical phenotypes of endometriosis in Chinese women. We analyzed rs4778889 T/C, rs11556218 T/G polymorphisms of the IL-16 gene in 230 patients with endometriosis and 203 controls in a Chinese population, using a polymerase chain reaction-high resolution melting analysis strategy and DNA sequencing methods. There was no significant difference in the genotype and allele frequencies of the rs11556218 T/G polymorphism between patients with endometriosis and controls (p>0.05). In contrast, the genotype and allele frequencies of the rs4778889 T/C polymorphism were statistically different between patients with endometriosis and controls, which resulted from a significantly increased proportion of TC heterozygote and CC homozygote carriers among patients with endometriosis (p=0.001 and 0.012, respectively); moreover, further subgroup analysis found that the genotype difference was more evident in patients with endometriosis who also experienced pain symptoms (p<0.001) than in patients without pain symptoms (p=0.625) when compared with controls. Our results suggest that the rs4778889 T/C polymorphism of the IL-16 gene may be associated with risk of endometriosis in the Chinese population, especially in patients with pain phenotype.

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