Science review: Genetic variability in the systemic inflammatory response

Grant W. Waterer, Richard G. Wunderink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The present review discusses recent studies that have identified genetic differences in inflammatory proteins associated with different phenotypic presentations of systemic inflammation. Basic genetic terminology is defined. Implications of genetic influences on the inflammatory response are discussed. The published associations of specific polymorphisms in antigen recognition pathways, proinflammatory cytokines, anti-inflammatory cytokines, and effector molecules are reviewed. The strongest and most consistent associations thus far have been with the tumor necrosis factor, lymphotoxin-α, and IL-1 receptor antagonist polymorphisms. However, large, phenotypically detailed studies are required to address all of the other potential polymorphisms in inflammatory molecule genes and their interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-314
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Gene polymorphisms
  • Genetics
  • Inflammation
  • Pneumonia
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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