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Anjana Joy, Elena S. George, Marno C. Ryan, Siddharth Sood, Amanda Nicoll, Stuart K. Roberts, Audrey Catherine


The C allele of rs1800795 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), or “-174G/C”, in the promotor of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene is associated with an increased rate of metabolic risk, insulin resistance (IR) and diabetes (1), especially in the Caucasian populations. However, Asian populations are almost monomorphic for the G allele, which is also associated with obesity comorbidities and diabetes in this population. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome with IR the driving factor in its development. The aim of this study was to determine prevalence of IL-6 – 174G/C polymorphism in patients with NAFLD and to investigate the differences in metabolic phenotype between genotype groups. This cross-sectional analysis included 28 participants with NAFLD. Anthropometric, body composition, biochemistry and homeostatic model of assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were recorded. Patients underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy to determine intrahepatic lipids (IHL). Polymorphisms were genotyped by Fitgenes Limited. Forty-three per cent of patients with NAFLD were CC homozygote or GC heterozygote and 57% GG homozygote carriers. The C+ genotype consisted of 75% Caucasian and 25% non-Caucasian, in contrast to 25% Caucasian and 75% non-Caucasian for GG. Prevalence of diabetes was higher in C+ allele carriers compared to G homozygotes (67% vs. 31%, respectively). Subjects with the C+ genotype compared to GG had significantly greater waist circumference (114.4±22.4 cm vs. 100.2±10.6 cm), hip circumference (118.4±21.4 cm vs. 102.4±7.7 cm), fat mass (44.7±8.4% vs. 35.9±5.4%) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (5.3±3.6 vs. 2.8±2.6 mg/L), (p<0.05). C+ carriers also displayed higher plasma insulin concentrations, HOMA-IR and IHL, albeit non-significantly. Conclusion: Although numbers are small, results highlight that IL-6 – 174C variant is associated with Caucasian ethnicity, prevalence of diabetes, and greater anthropometry and body composition measurements in NAFLD. We envisage that these differences will be more apparent as patient numbers increase.


non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, IL-6 – 174G/C, metabolic risk



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About The Authors

Anjana Joy

Elena S. George

Marno C. Ryan

Siddharth Sood

Amanda Nicoll

Stuart K. Roberts

Audrey Catherine

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