Disparate distribution of 16 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms among racial and ethnic groups of pediatric heart transplant patients

Diana M. Girnita, Steven A. Webber, Robert Ferrell, Gilbert J. Burckart, Maria M. Brooks, Kevin K. McDade, Richard Chinnock, Charles Canter, Linda Addonizio, Daniel Bernstein, James K. Kirklin, Alin L. Girnita, Adriana Zeevi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Allograft failure in African-Americans remains higher than in Caucasians. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been associated with altered allograft outcomes. METHODS. In this multi-center study we compared SNP frequencies in 364 pediatric heart recipients from three ethnic/racial groups: Caucasian (n=243), African-American (n=39), and Hispanic (n=82). The target genes were: tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-10, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-γ, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor-β1, Fas, FasL, granzyme B, ABCB1, CYP3A5. RESULTS. Compared to Caucasians, African-Americans exhibited a higher prevalence of genotypes associated with low expression of IFN-γ (24% vs. 45.7%, P<0.001) and IL-10 (33% vs. 57.1%, P=0.052). African-Americans also exhibited an increased prevalence of high IL-6 (82.9% vs. 38.1%; P<0.001). VEGF -2578 C/C and -460 C/C genotypes were found more frequently in African-Americans and Hispanics as compared to Caucasians (P<0.001). G/G genotype of Fas and T/T genotype of FasL were expressed more often by African-American recipients. The prevalence of Granzyme B (-295A/G) genotype was differentially distributed in the three groups. Compared with Caucasians, African-Americans were twice as likely to carry the ABCB1 2677 G/G genotype (78.6% vs. 33.7%, P<0.0025), and they were more frequent carriers of the CYP3A5 *1/*1 genotype (35.7% vs. 0.6% in Caucasians and 7.2% in Hispanics; P<0.001). CONCLUSION. African-Americans have a genetic background that may predispose to proinflammatory/lower regulatory environment, reduced drug exposure and immunosuppressive efficacy. In this ongoing multicenter study, these gene polymorphisms differences among ethnic/racial groups are being documented so that therapeutic strategies can be devised to optimize outcomes for pediatric transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1774-1780
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • African-American
  • Gene polymorphism
  • Heart
  • Hispanic
  • Multicenter studies
  • Pediatric
  • Transplantation


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