Background. The aim of this study was to explore the associations between common potential functional promoter polymorphisms in pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokine genes and kidney function/chronic kidney disease (CKD) prevalence in a large Japanese population. Methods. A total of 3,323 subjects aged 35-69 were genotyped for all 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter regions of candidate genes with minor allele frequencies of > 0.100 in Japanese populations. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and CKD prevalence (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2) of the subjects were compared among the genotypes. Results. A higher eGFR and lower prevalence of CKD were observed for the homozygous variants of IL4 -33CC (high IL-4 [anti-inflammatory cytokine]-producing genotype) and IL6 -572GG (low IL-6 [pro-inflammatory cytokine]-producing genotype). Subjects with IL4 CC + IL6 GG showed the highest mean eGFR (79.1 ml/min/1.73 m2) and lowest CKD prevalence (0.0%), while subjects carrying IL4 TT + IL6 CC showed the lowest mean eGFR (73.4 ml/min/1.73 m2) and highest CKD prevalence (17.9%). Conclusions. The functional promoter polymorphisms IL4 T-33C (rs2070874) and IL6 C-572G (rs1800796), which are the only SNPs that affect the IL-4 and IL-6 levels in Japanese subjects, were associated with kidney function and CKD prevalence in a large Japanese population.
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