Influence of tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene-308 polymorphism on the development of coronary vasculopathy after cardiac transplantation.

C Densem, I Hutchinson, NN A Yonan, N. Brooks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    BACKGROUND: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) has been implicated in cardiovascular disease. Polymorphism of the TNF-alpha gene promoter region (position -308) influences an individual's production of TNF-alpha. This affects susceptibility to acute rejection after cardiac transplantation. Because the highest serum levels of TNF-alpha have been found in recipients with cardiac transplant vasculopathy and because TNF-alpha blockade can prevent the disease in rabbits, we investigated the effect of TNF-alpha promoter polymorphism on the development of vasculopathy in human cardiac allograft recipients. METHODS: Using sequence-specific primers to the TNF-alpha gene and polymerase chain reaction, the genotypes of 147 cardiac transplant recipients and 134 heart donors were identified. An association was sought between the presence of high-producing (A homozygotes, GA heterozygotes) or low-producing (G homozygotes) TNF-alpha genotype and the development of coronary vasculopathy, diagnosed by routine surveillance coronary angiography. RESULTS: We found that 31.9% of recipients and 27.0% of donors were high TNF-alpha producers. The presence of the high-producing TNF-alpha allele led to an earlier diagnosis of vasculopathy; 3.42 years (+/- 91.3 days) vs 3.84 years (+/- 76.3 days) for high- and low-producing cardiac graft recipients, respectively; 3.52 years (+/- 87.3 days) vs 3.78 years (+/- 77.4 days) for high- and low-producing donor grafts, respectively. However, neither of these differences were significant. By Kaplan Meier actuarial analysis and log-rank test, TNF-alpha polymorphism had no effect on the freedom from vasculopathy when considering either recipient (p = 0.99) or donor (p = 0.86) TNF-alpha genotype. Multivariate analysis identified increasing donor age and the number of acute rejection episodes of International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation grade 3 or greater as independent risk factors for vasculopathy in both the recipient and donor cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Polymorphism at position -308 in the promoter region of the TNF-alpha gene fails to predict the development of cardiac transplant-related vasculopathy and cannot be used as a genetic risk marker. This may be because of the effects of immunosuppressive treatment.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJ Heart Lung Transplant
    Volume20( 12)
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Adult
    • Alleles
    • genetics: Coronary Artery Disease
    • pathology: Coronary Vessels
    • Female
    • Genotype
    • genetics: Graft Rejection
    • pathology: Heart Transplantation
    • Heterozygote
    • Homozygote
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • genetics: Polymorphism, Genetic
    • genetics: Promoter Regions (Genetics)
    • Tissue Donors
    • genetics: Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


    Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene-308 polymorphism on the development of coronary vasculopathy after cardiac transplantation.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this