Polymorphisms in the promoter of the tumor necrosis factor-alpha gene in coal miners.

P.J.A. Borm*, M. Jetten, R. Zhai, R.P.F. Schins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) is recognized as a central mediator of mineral dust-induced lung fibrosis, and genetic polymorphisms of the TNF promoter have been reported to influence levels of TNF production. To assess whether polymorphisms within the TNF promoter gene are associated with susceptibility to coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), the DNA of 78 coal miners was typed for G-to-A transitions at positions -238 and -308. Our results show that frequency of A-308 genotype (T2) is significantly overpresented in coal miners with CWP (50%), as compared with miners without CWP (25%) and controls (29%). After correction for cumulative dust exposure and smoking, the A-308 transition genotype is still associated with the presence of CWP (OR = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.0-9.0). Both A-238 and A-308 transition genotypes were related to TNF release from endotoxin-stimulated blood monocytes; only the A-238 transition and not the A-308 transition was associated to coal dust-induced TNF release. In summary, this study shows that the A-308 transition is related to CWP, but this relation is not paralleled by a different TNF release in this genotype. A larger number of patients coupled to frequent TNF release are required to evaluate genotype screening to estimate individual health risks for effects of coal mine dust exposure.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Controlled Clinical Trial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-324
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


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