Effects of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) polymorphism on toxic metal and trace element levels in placental tissues
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The placenta is a crucial organ of fetal origin that functions in providing nutrients to the fetus from the mother. During pregnancy, the need for essential micronutrients, such as Fe and Zn, increases due to the requirements of the growing fetus. Maternal Fe deficiency induces an increase in Cu levels and can also affect cytokine levels in the placenta. On the other hand, Cu deficiency, although not as common, can also have destructive effects on the fetus. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a wide range of biological activities, including such as immune responses, acute-phase reactions, and inflammation. The placenta produces a significant amount of IL-6 during pregnancy. The effects of the IL-6 -174 G/C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) on IL-6 gene transcription and on plasma cytokine levels were assessed in the present study. We investigated the association between the IL-6 -174 G/C polymorphism and trace element/toxic metal levels in placental tissues. For the purposes of this study, 95 healthy volunteers were evaluated. Presence of the IL-6 polymorphism was determined using the standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) technique, and metal levels were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). Based on our data, there were no significant associations between the IL-6 -174 G/C polymorphism and Pb, Cd, Fe, or Zn levels in the placental tissues (p > 0.05), but a statistically significant association was detected between the polymorphism and Cu levels (p = 0.016). We determined that the mean Cu levels in the placental tissues from individuals with CC, GC and CC genotypes were 5.62 +/- 1.98, 6.22 +/- 3.22 and 8.00 +/- 1.32 ppm, respectively, whereas the overall mean Cu level from the placental tissues was 5.98 +/- 2.51 ppm. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.