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CXCL5 polymorphisms are associated with variable blood pressure in cardiovascular disease-free adults

Amber L Beitelshees1*, Christina L Aquilante2, Hooman Allayee3, Taimour Y Langaee4, Gregory J Welder4, Richard S Schofield5 and Issam Zineh4

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 660 W. Redwood St, HH469, Baltimore, MD, 21201, USA

2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Aurora, CO, 80045, USA

3 Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute for Genetic Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA

4 Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, Center for Pharmacogenomics, University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA

5 Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, 32603, USA

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Human Genomics 2012, 6:9  doi:10.1186/1479-7364-6-9

Published: 2 August 2012



Leukocyte count has been associated with blood pressure, hypertension, and hypertensive complications. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in the CXCL5 gene, which encodes the neutrophilic chemokine ENA-78, are associated with blood pressure in cardiovascular disease (CVD)-free adults and that these polymorphisms are functional.

Methods and results

A total of 192 community-dwelling participants without CVD or risk equivalents were enrolled. Two CXCL5 polymorphisms (−156 G > C (rs352046) and 398 G > A (rs425535)) were tested for associations with blood pressure. Allele-specific mRNA expression in leukocytes was also measured to determine whether heterozygosity was associated with allelic expression imbalance. In −156 C variant carriers, systolic blood pressure (SBP) was 7 mmHg higher than in −156 G/G wild-type homozygotes (131 ± 17 vs. 124 ± 14 mmHg; P = 0.008). Similarly, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was 4 mmHg higher in −156 C variant carriers (78 ± 11 vs. 74 ± 11 mmHg; P = 0.013). In multivariate analysis of SBP, age, sex, body mass index, and the −156 G > C polymorphism were identified as significant variables. Age, sex, and the −156 G > C SNP were further associated with DBP, along with white blood cells. Allelic expression imbalance and significantly higher circulating ENA-78 concentrations were noted for variant carriers.


CXCL5 gene polymorphisms are functional and associated with variable blood pressure in CVD-free individuals. The role of CXCL5 as a hypertension- and CVD-susceptibility gene should be further explored.

CXCL5; ENA-78; Blood pressure; Hypertension; Leukocytes