Volume 4 Supplement 1

5th International Conference on Conservative Management of Spinal Deformities

Open Access

The association between IL-6 and MMP-3 gene polymorphisms and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a case-control study

  • Angelo Gabriele Aulisa1,
  • E Pola2,
  • P Papaleo2,
  • Marco Galli2 and
  • L Aulisa2
Scoliosis20094(Suppl 1):O1


Published: 15 January 2009


The nucleus pulposus of scoliotic discs respond to exogenous stimuli by secreting interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other inflammatory cytokines. The association between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and disc degeneration has been reported by several investigators. A human MMP-3 promoter 5A/6A gene polymorphism regulates MMP-3 genes expression, while the G/C polymorphism of the promoter region of IL-6 gene influences levels and functional activity of the IL-6 protein.


We conducted a case-control study to investigate whether the 5A/6A polymorphism of the MMP-3 gene and the G/C polymorphism of the promoter region of IL-6 gene were associated with the susceptibility to develop AIS.


The frequency of the 5A/5A genotype of MMP-3 gene polymorphism in patients with scoliosis was almost 3 times higher than in controls (30.2% vs. 11.2%, P 0.001). The frequency of the G/G genotype of IL-6 gene polymorphism in patients with scoliosis was almost 2 times higher than in controls (52.8% vs. 26.2%, P < 0.001). 5A/5A genotype of MMP-3 gene polymorphism and G/G genotype of IL-6 gene polymorphism are independently associated with a higher risk of scoliosis (odds ratio, respectively, 3.34 and 10.54).


This is the first study performed to evaluate the possibility that gene variants of IL-6 and MMPs may be associated with scoliosis. This study suggests that MMP-3 and IL-6 promoter polymorphisms constitute important factors in the genetic predisposition to scoliosis.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Orthopedics, Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù, Rome Department of Medicine, A. Gemelli University Hospital
Department of Orthopedics, A. Gemelli University Hospital


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© Aulisa et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.