Frontiers in Immunology (2021-04-01)

Circulating Interleukins and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: A Mendelian Randomization Study

  • Hui Lu,
  • Peng-Fei Wu,
  • Peng-Fei Wu,
  • Wan Zhang,
  • Wan Zhang,
  • Xiaoyao Liao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12


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BackgroundPrevious research have implicated critical roles of systemic inflammation in the development of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). But the causal relationship between interleukins (ILs) and MS has not been fully elucidated.ObjectiveIn this study, we applied Mendelian randomization (MR) approaches to address the causal associations between genetically determined circulating levels of ILs and the risk of MS.MethodsGenetic instruments for circulating IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), IL-2 receptor α subunit (IL-2Rα), IL-6, IL-16, IL-17, and IL-18 were obtained from recently published genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Summary-level data for MS were obtained from the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium. MR analyses were performed using the R software (version 3.6.1, The R Foundation) and the TwoSampleMR package.ResultsGenetic predisposition to higher circulating levels of IL-2Rα were significantly associated with MS risk. The odds ratio (OR) was 1.22 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12–1.32; p < 0.001) per one standard deviation increase in circulating IL-2Rα levels. There was a suggestive association of circulating IL-1Ra with MS risk (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.88–0.99; p = 0.027). The other ILs were not associated with the outcome.ConclusionOur results indicated that circulating IL-2Rα was causally associated with risk of MS.