Open Access Short Report

Paraoxonase 1 polymorphism Q192R affects the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha in healthy males

Kai Lüersen1, Constance Schmelzer1, Christine Boesch-Saadatmandi2, Christine Kohl1, Gerald Rimbach2 and Frank Döring1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Molecular Prevention, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Heinrich-Hecht-Platz 10, 24118 Kiel, Germany

2 Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Food Science, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Hermann-Rodewald-Straße 6, 24118 Kiel, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:141  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-141

Published: 10 May 2011



Human paraoxonase 1 (PON1) is an HDL-associated enzyme with anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory properties that has been suggested to play an important protective role against coronary heart diseases and underlying atherogenesis. The common PON1 Q192R polymorphism (rs662, A>G), a glutamine to arginine substitution at amino acid residue 192, has been analyzed in numerous association studies as a genetic marker for coronary heart diseases, however, with controversial results.


To get a better understanding about the pathophysiological function of PON1, we analyzed the relationships between the Q192R polymorphism, serum paraoxonase activity and serum biomarkers important for atherogenesis. Genotyping a cohort of 49 healthy German males for the Q192R polymorphism revealed an allele distribution of 0.74 and 0.26 for the Q and R allele, respectively, typical for Caucasian populations. Presence of the R192 allele was found to be associated with a significantly increased paraoxonase enzyme activity of 187.8 ± 11.4 U/l in comparison to the QQ192 genotype with 60.5 ± 4.9 U/l. No significant differences among the genotypes were found for blood pressure, asymmetric dimethylarginine, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and cholesterol. As expected, MIP-2 alpha a cytokine rather not related to atherosclerosis is not affected by the PON1 polymorphism. In contrast to that, the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha is enhanced in R192 carriers (163.8 ± 24.7 pg/ml vs 94.7 ± 3.2 pg/ml in QQ192 carriers).


Our findings support the hypothesis that the common PON1 R192 allele may be a genetic risk factor for atherogenesis by inducing chronic low-grade inflammation.