Open Access Research article

Genetic association between selected cytokine genes and glioblastoma in the Han Chinese population

Tianbo Jin12, Xiaolan Li12, Jiayi Zhang12, Hong Wang2, Tingting Geng2, Gang Li3, Guodong Gao3 and Chao Chen124*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an 710069, China

2 National Engineering Research Center for Miniaturized Detection Systems, Xi’an 710069, China

3 Department of Neurosurgery, Tangdu hospital, the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710038, China

4 Mailbox 386, #229 North Taibai Road, Xi’an 710069, Shaanxi, China

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BMC Cancer 2013, 13:236  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-236

Published: 12 May 2013



Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor. Many abnormal secretion and expression of cytokines have been found in GBM, initially speculated that the occurrence of GBM may be involved in these abnormal secretion of cytokines. This study aims to detect the association of cytokine genes with GBM.


We selected seven tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) in six cytokine genes, which previously reported to be associated with brain tumors, and analyzed their association with GBM in a Han Chinese population using χ2 test and genetic model analysis.


We found two risk tSNPs and one protective tSNP. By χ2 test, the rs1801275 in IL-4R showed an increased risk of GBM. In the genetic model analysis, the genotype “TC” of rs20541 in IL-13 gene showed an increased risk of GBM in over-dominant model (OR = 2.00; 95% CI, 1.13-3.54, p = 0.015); the genotype “CT” of rs1800871 in the IL-10 gene showed a decrease risk in the over-dominant model (OR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.33 – 0.97; p = 0.037). The genotype “AG” of rs1801275 in the IL-4R gene showed an increase risk in over-dominant model (OR = 2.29; 95% CI, 1.20 - 4.35; p = 0.0081) We further analyzed whether the six cytokine genes have a different effect on the disease in gender specific population, and found that the allele “G” of rs2243248 in the IL-4 gene showed a decrease risk of GBM in female (OR = 0.35, 95% CI, 0.13 - 0.94, p = 0.0032), but the allele “T” showed a decrease risk in male (OR = 0.30, 95% CI, 0.17 - 0.53, p = 0.0032).


Our findings, combined with previously reported results, suggest that cytokine genes have potential role in GBM development, which may be useful to early prognostics for GBM in the Han Chinese population.

Cytokine gene; Glioblastoma (GBM); Tag single nucleotide polymorphism (tSNP); Case–control study