Background: Increased production of interleukin 6 (IL-6) is associated with rheumatoid arthritis that acts through its receptor, IL-6R (interleukin 6 receptor). Various single nucleotide polymorphisms in the IL6R gene conferring susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis have been identified in various populations yet these associations have not been fully established. The present study was pursued with the aim to evaluate a possible association between three single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs2228145, rs4537545, rs4845617) of the IL6R gene and rheumatoid arthritis in Pakistani patients.
Methods: For this purpose, we recruited 60 patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and 60 healthy age and gender matched controls. Blood samples were collected and DNA was extracted. Sanger DNA sequencing was performed to evaluate the SNPs in IL6R and the data were statistically evaluated using chi-square test.
Results: Results of our study indicated that rs2228145 and rs4845617 were significantly associated with rheumatoid arthritis in Pakistani population. However, no association could be established between IL6R (rs4537545) and rheumatoid arthritis in Pakistani population.
Conclusions: This study reports a possible genetic association of IL6R (rs2228145 and rs4845617) to the genetic susceptibility of rheumatoid arthritis.