Pro-inflammatory interleukin-1 genotypes potentiate the risk of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular events mediated by oxidized phospholipids and lipoprotein(a)

Sotirios Tsimikas, Gordon W. Duff, Peter B. Berger, John Rogus, Kenneth Huttner, Paul Clopton, Emmanuel Brilakis, Kenneth S. Kornman, Joseph L. Witztum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the influence of pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-1 genotype status on the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), defined as >50% diameter stenosis, and cardiovascular events mediated by oxidized phospholipids (OxPLs) and lipoprotein (Lp) (a). Background OxPLs are pro-inflammatory, circulate on Lp(a), and mediate CAD. Genetic variations in the IL-1 region are associated with increased inflammatory mediators. Methods IL-1 genotypes, OxPL on apolipoprotein B-100 (OxPL/apoB), and Lp(a) levels were measured in 499 patients undergoing coronary angiography. The composite genotype termed IL-1(+) was defined by 3 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the IL-1 gene cluster associated with higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. All other IL-1 genotypes were termed IL-1(-). Results Among IL-1(+) patients, the highest quartile of OxPL/apoB was significantly associated with a higher risk for CAD compared with the lowest quartile (odds ratio [OR]: 2.84; p = 0.001). This effect was accentuated in patients age 60 years (OR: 7.03; p < 0.001). In IL-1(-) patients, OxPL/apoB levels showed no association with CAD. The interaction was significant for OxPL/apoB (OR: 1.99; p = 0.004) and Lp(a) (OR: 1.96; p < 0.001) in the IL-1(+) group versus the IL-1(-) group in patients age 60 years but not in those age >60 years. In IL-1(+) patients age ≤60 years, after adjustment for established risk factors, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and Lp(a), OxPL/apoB remained an independent predictor of CAD. IL-1(+) patients above the median OxPL/apoB presented to the cardiac catheterization laboratory a mean of 3.9 years earlier (p = 0.002) and had worse 4-year event-free survival (death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and need for revascularization) compared with other groups (p = 0.006). Conclusions Our study suggests that IL-1 genotype status can stratify population risk for CAD and cardiovascular events mediated by OxPL. These data suggest a clinically relevant biological link between pro-inflammatory IL-1 genotype, oxidation of phospholipids, Lp(a), and genetic predisposition to CAD and cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1724-1734
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 6 2014


  • IL-1
  • atherosclerosis
  • genetic risk stratification
  • haplotype
  • inflammation
  • lipoprotein(a)
  • lipoproteins
  • oxidation
  • oxidized phospholipids
  • polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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