Impact of cytokine and cytokine receptor gene polymorphisms on cellular immunity after smallpox vaccination

Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Iana H. Haralambieva, Richard B. Kennedy, V. Shane Pankratz, Robert A. Vierkant, Robert M. Jacobson, Gregory A. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We explored associations between SNPs in cytokine/cytokine receptor genes and cellular immunity in subjects following primary smallpox vaccination. We also analyzed the genotype-phenotype associations discovered in the Caucasian subjects among a cohort of African-Americans. In Caucasians we found 277 associations (p < 0.05) between gene SNPs and inter-individual variations in IFN-α, IL-12p40, IL-1β, IL-2, and TNF-α secretion levels. A collection of SNPs in the IL1RN, IL2RB, IL4R, IL6, IL10RB, IL12A, and IL12RB2 genes had consistent associations among both Caucasians and African-Americans. A regulatory SNP (rs452204) in the IL1RN gene was significantly associated with higher levels of IL-2 secretion in an allele dose-dependent manner in both race groups (p = 0.05 for Caucasians and p = 0.002 for African-Americans). IL12RB2 polymorphism rs3790567 was associated with a dose-related decrease in IL-1β secretion (p = 0.009 for Caucasians and p = 0.01 for African-Americans). Our results demonstrate that variations in smallpox vaccine-induced cytokine responses are modulated by genetic polymorphisms in cytokine and cytokine receptor genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 15 2012


  • African-Americans
  • Caucasians
  • Cellular immunity
  • Immunogenetics
  • SNPs
  • Smallpox vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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