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Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a family of clonal disorders characterized by dyshematopoiesis and susceptibility to acute myelogenous leukemia. Tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) and transforming growth factor-b (TGF-b) are cytokines that play key roles in the pathogenesis of MDS. There have been several reports on the presence of genetic polymorphisms in the DNA sequence encoding the leader sequence of the TGF-b 1 protein, and in the -308 promoter region of TNF-a. The association between TNF-a and TGF-b 1 gene polymorphism and the susceptibility to MDS and the progression of the disease was investigated. As compared with healthy control subjects (n = 74), patients with MDS (n = 55) showed no significant deviations in genotype or allele frequencies of TNF-a. Similarly, there were no differences in the distribution of TNF-a genotypes between the MDS patients with only anemia (mild group) and those with bi- or pancytopenia (severe group). On the other hand the TT homozygosity at codon 10 in exon 1 of TGF-b 1 gene was associated with a severe degree of cytopenia [95% CI OR = 4.889, p = 0.0071]. These findings suggest that the investigated genetic polymorphisms do not predispose to the development of MDS, but that TGF-b 1 gene polymorphism may affect the disease progression.

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Objectives: The aim of this work was to investigate the prevalence of TNF-a -308 polymorphism among the 29 members of a family with RA and the association between the MHC-linked biallelic HSP70-2 gene and the TNF-a polymorphism. Five of the members with RA were diagnosed by using the revised 1987 ACR criteria, and 1 member suffered from SLE. Methods: The variations in the TNF-a and the HSP70-2 genotypes were analyzed by PCR-RFLP, using NcoI and PstI restriction enzymes. Results: Two of the 29 members were homozygotes for allele A, 18 were heterozygotes (TNF A/G) and 9 of them were homozygotes for allele G. Nineteen of the 29 were heterozygotes for HSP70-2 (A/G), 10 of them were homozygotes for the G allele, and none were homozygotes for allele A. Four of the 5 the RA patients carried the A allele for TNF-a all 5 were heterozygotes for HSP70-2 genotypes. Conclusion: The carriage of the A allele for TNF-a of -308 SNP in 4 of the 5 RA patients, and the high prevalence (68.0%) of TNF A allele carriers in this family confirms the important role of this candidate gene in the pathomechanism of RA, and might be of prognostic value for future clinical observations. Further, to test for association a much larger set of genetically independent patients and controls is needed. 

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Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica
Authors: G. Klausz, Andrea Tiszai, Zsuzsa Lénárt, Zsófia Gyulai, L. Tiszlavicz, Márta Hőgye, M. Csanády, J. Lonovics, and Yvette Mándi

The interaction between the bacteria and the host is a key factor determining the clinical consequences of H. pylori infection. The immune system plays an important role in either promoting or preventing the disease. The mucosal production of TNF-a, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 and the CagA status were investigated in H. pylori-positive patients with duodenal ulcer (DU). The concentrations of these cytokines in gastric antral mucosal specimens from patients infected with H. pylori (n = 40) were determined by ELISA and compared with data on mucosal specimens from H. pylori-negative patients (n = 12). The local TNF-a, IL-6 and IL-8 concentrations in the antral biopsy samples were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the patients infected with H. pylori than in the samples from the H. pylori-negative subjects. CagA positivity was demonstrated in 39 (97.5%) of the 40 patients with DU, and in 41 (70.7%) of H. pylori-positive (58 of 100) healthy blood donors. In complementary studies focusing on extragastric disease, it was found that 57% of patients with ischaemic heart disease were seropositive as concerns H. pylori, and 91% of them had antibodies against human heat shock protein 60, too. This study suggests that, besides the bacterial virulence factor, the host response of an increased mucosal production of inflammatory cytokines can be relevant to the gastric pathophysiology in H. pylori-induced DU. At the same time, in ischaemic heart diseases the role of autoimmune processes induced by H. pylori cannot be excluded.

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