Open Access Research article

Tolllike receptor 4 (TLR4) polymorphisms in Tunisian patients with Crohn's disease: genotype-phenotype correlation

Lilia Zouiten-Mekki12*, Maher Kharrat2, Sami Karoui1, Mariem Serghimi1, Monia Fekih1, Samira Matri1, Lamia Kallel1, Jalel Boubaker1, Azza Filali1 and Habiba Chaabouni2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastroenterology A, La Rabta Hospital – 1007, Tunisia

2 Laboratory of Human Genetics, Medical school of Tunis, Tunisia

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BMC Gastroenterology 2009, 9:62  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-62

Published: 7 August 2009



The immune responses to bacterial products through the pattern recognition receptor (PRR) play a pivotal role in pathogenesis of Crohn's disease. A recent study described an association between CD and some gene coding for bacterial receptor like NOD2/CARD15 gene and TLR4. In this study, we sought to determine whether TLR4 gene was associated with Crohn's disease (CD) among the Tunisian population and its correlation with clinical manifestation of the disease.


90 patients with CD and 80 healthy individuals are genotyped for the Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile polymorphisms by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.


The allele and genotype frequency of the TLR4 polymorphisms did not differ between patients and controls. The genotype-phenotype correlation permitted to show that the Thr399Ile polymorphism was associated with early onset disease.


this study reported the absence of association between CD and TLR4 gene in the Tunisian population, but this gene could play a role in clinical expression of the disease.