Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is caused by dimorphic fungi from the Paracoccidioides brasiliensis
Previous studies have demonstrated that the severity of disease is associated with a T-helper 2 immune response
characterised by high interleukin (IL)-4 production. In the present study we analysed two polymorphisms in the IL-4
gene (-590 C/T and intron-3 microsatellite) in 76 patients with PCM and 73 control subjects from an endemic area.
The production of IL-4
by peripheral blood mononuclear cells after antigen or phytohaemagglutinin stimulation was
determined by ELISA. A significant correlation was observed between the RP2/RP2 intron-3 genotype and infection
sp. (p = 0.011), whereas the RP1/RP1 genotype was correlated with resistance. No significant
correlation was observed for the IL-4
promoter polymorphism. Furthermore, the low IL-4
expression observed in
the control group compared with patients was associated with the RP1/RP1 genotype. These results suggest that
polymorphisms might be associated with the ability of the host to control Paracoccidioides sp.
relevance of this polymorphism is supported by the observation that patients with disease produce high levels of IL-4
following mitogen or antigen stimulation. The IL-4
gene is located in the cytokine cluster region of chromosome 5
where other polymorphisms have also been described.