Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 81, Issue 9, pp 578–584

The interleukin-6 promoter polymorphism is associated with elevated leukocyte, lymphocyte, and monocyte counts and reduced physical fitness in young healthy smokers

  • J. R. Ortlepp
  • J. Metrikat
  • K. Vesper
  • V. Mevissen
  • F. Schmitz
  • M. Albrecht
  • P. Maya-Pelzer
  • P. Hanrath
  • C. Weber
  • K. Zerres
  • R. Hoffmann
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00109-003-0471-6

Cite this article as:
Ortlepp, J.R., Metrikat, J., Vesper, K. et al. J Mol Med (2003) 81: 578. doi:10.1007/s00109-003-0471-6

Abstract

Smoking and interleukin-6 are important factors in driving inflammation. This study assessed the relationship between smoking, interleukin-6 genotype, physical fitness, and peripheral blood count in healthy young men. For this interleukin-6 promoter polymorphism −174 genotype-phenotype association study 1,929 healthy German male aviators recruited at the central German Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine were stratified by smoking habits. Cardiovascular fitness was expressed as maximal physical working capacity (PWCmax) in watts per kilogram body weight as assessed by maximal exercise testing by cycle ergometry up to physical exhaustion. Smokers had higher leukocyte and lymphocyte counts than nonsmokers and lower PWCmax. In the overall study population the C allele of the interleukin-6 polymorphism was weakly associated with elevated leukocytes and lymphocytes; in nonsmokers the interleukin-6 polymorphism was not associated with altered phenotypes, but in smokers the interleukin-6 C allele was associated with higher leukocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes and with lower PWCmax. Smoking is thus associated with elevated leukocytes and lymphocytes and with reduced physical fitness. Gene carriers with the interleukin-6 C allele may suffer particularly from cigarette smoking.

Keywords

Interleukin-6 Polymorphism Smoking Cardiovascular fitness Inflammation 

Abbreviations

CRP

C-reactive protein

IL

Interleukin

PWCmax

Maximal physical working capacity

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Ortlepp
    • 1
  • J. Metrikat
    • 2
  • K. Vesper
    • 1
  • V. Mevissen
    • 1
  • F. Schmitz
    • 1
  • M. Albrecht
    • 2
  • P. Maya-Pelzer
    • 2
  • P. Hanrath
    • 1
  • C. Weber
    • 3
  • K. Zerres
    • 4
  • R. Hoffmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Clinic I, University HospitalUniversity of TechnologyAachenGermany
  2. 2.Div. IGerman Air Force Institute of Aviation MedicineFürstenfeldbruckGermany
  3. 3.Molecular Cardiovascular Research, University HospitalUniversity of TechnologyAachenGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Human GeneticsUniversity Hospital of AachenAachenGermany

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