Background. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a proinflammatory cytokine and has been shown to be involved in the development of chronic murine colitis. In the -173G/C polymorphism of the MIF gene, the presence of C creates the binding motif of activator protein 4. This study explored the association of this polymorphism with ulcerative colitis (UC). Methods. Genotyping was carried out, with a tetra-primer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, for 659 DNA specimens from 438 healthy volunteers and 221 patients with UC. Genotype distribution between cases and controls and the association of patients' genotypes with clinical parameters were statistically evaluated. Results. No significant difference in genotype distribution was found between UC patients and healthy controls. However, when the relation of the C/ C genotype to clinical parameters in UC patients was evaluated by Fisher's exact test, it was found that the frequency of the C/C genotype was higher in patients with pancolitis type than in those with other types restricted to the distal or left-sided colon (odds ratio [OR], 10.781; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.342-86.619; P = 0.0074). Conclusions. These data suggest that the MIF -173 G/C polymorphism may be related to the extent of disease in UC in a Japanese population.
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