IL-2 gene polymorphisms affect tacrolimus response in myasthenia gravis

  • Yang Shumei
  • Li Yi
  • Meng Huanyu
  • Li Zhibin
  • Jin Wanlin
  • Xu Liqun
  • Yang HuanEmail author



The IL-2 gene polymorphisms have been reported to be associated with the development of autoimmune disease. However, there are no published studies examining the influence of the IL-2 gene polymorphisms on the response of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients to tacrolimus (Tac). The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between the polymorphisms of IL-2 and Tac response in MG patients.


Ninety-two MG patients treated with Tac were studied, including 57 Tac-effective patients and 35 Tac-ineffective patients. Then, we selected four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs: rs2069776, rs2069772, rs2069762, rs2069763) in the IL-2 gene. Next, we analyzed the distribution of genotypes, allelic frequencies of SNPs, and haplotype frequencies among polymorphisms in the two groups of patients.


The distribution of the allelic frequency of the rs2069762 variant differed between the Tac-effective and Tac-ineffective patients (P = 0.02). Genotypes G/T and G/G of rs2069762 were differently distributed between the two groups when the wild genotype T/T was assigned as a reference (P < 0.001 for G/T; P = 0.003 for G/G). Patients with the TAGG haplotype tended to be Tac-ineffective (P < 0.001, OR: 0.15, 95% CI: 0.05–0.43).


Myasthenia gravis patients with the rs2069762 variant, rs2069762 G/T and G/G genotype, and TAGG haplotype for IL-2 tended to respond poorly to Tac treatment.


rs2069762 variant G/T and G/G genotype of rs2069762 TAGG haplotype Tacrolimus Tacrolimus response Myasthenia gravis 



The authors acknowledge the support by the nurses affiliated to the Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Neurology in Xiangya Hospital.

Sources of funding

This study was financially supported by grants from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (grant numbers: 8177051973, 81571173 and 81501034).

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Xiangya Hospital of Central South, and all patients provided written informed consent. The certificate number is 201703107.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

228_2019_2642_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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