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Submitted: February 07, 2024 | Approved: February 16, 2024 | Published: February 19, 2024

How to cite this article: Meneses do Rêgo AC, Araújo-Filho I. Association of Cytokine Gene Polymorphisms with Inflammatory Responses and Sepsis Outcomes in Surgical and Trauma Patients. Arch Surg Clin Res. 2024; 8: 004-008.

DOI: 10.29328/journal.ascr.1001076

Copyright License: © Meneses do Rêgo AC, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords: Operative surgical procedures; Postoperative period; Systemic inflammatory response syndrome; Sepsis; Genetic polymorphism; Prognostic factors

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Association of Cytokine Gene Polymorphisms with Inflammatory Responses and Sepsis Outcomes in Surgical and Trauma Patients

Amália Cinthia Meneses do Rêgo1,2 and Irami Araújo-Filho1-3*

1Institute of Teaching, Research, and Innovation, Liga Contra o Câncer, Natal, Brazil
2Full Professor of the Postgraduate Program in Biotechnology, Potiguar University, Natal/RN, Brazil
3Full Professor, Department of Surgery, Potiguar University, Ph.D. in Health Science, Natal/RN, Brazil

*Address for Correspondence: Irami Araújo-Filho, Full Professor of the Postgraduate Program in Biotechnology, Potiguar University, Av. Hermes da Fonseca, 1444, Apto. 1302, Tirol Natal State of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, Email: irami.filho@uol.com.br

Sepsis, a life-threatening condition triggered by infection, poses a significant healthcare challenge with high mortality rates. The interplay between genetics and the immune response in sepsis, particularly in surgical and trauma patients, is complex and critical. Genetic polymorphisms, particularly in cytokine genes like TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8, have been extensively studied for their influence on sepsis susceptibility, severity, and outcomes. Polymorphisms can alter gene expression and cytokine production, leading to variations in immune responses. Studies have also explored polymorphisms concerning sepsis in genes encoding CD86, TLR4, and SIRT6. This review highlights the association between genetic polymorphisms and inflammatory responses, focusing on their impact on sepsis outcomes in surgical and trauma patients. Genetic variations play a significant role in sepsis risk, severity, and prognosis, with potential implications for personalized therapeutic strategies. Biomarkers such as cytokine gene polymorphisms may aid in predicting sepsis risk and guiding treatment decisions. Complementary therapies like acupuncture and novel biomarkers like microvesicles carrying mitochondrial content provide additional avenues for personalized sepsis management. Furthermore, multiomics approaches offer promise in predicting postoperative outcomes in surgical patients. Understanding the genetic basis of sepsis is essential for improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, ultimately leading to better clinical outcomes. Combining genomics, bioinformatics, and clinical expertise, precision medicine can revolutionize sepsis management by tailoring interventions to individual genetic profiles, thus enhancing patient care and outcomes.

The interplay between genetics and the immune response in the context of sepsis, particularly following surgical and trauma events, presents a complex and critical area of study.

Sepsis, a severe systemic response to infection leading to organ dysfunction, is a significant healthcare challenge with high morbidity and mortality rates [1-3].

Sepsis, a life-threatening condition marked by a dysregulated host response to infection, remains a pressing global healthcare challenge characterized by high mortality rates and significant economic consequences. Its intricate pathophysiology involves a complex interplay of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators, cytokines, and genetic factors [2].

Emerging evidence suggests that genetic polymorphisms, especially in cytokine genes, play a significant role in modulating inflammatory responses and influencing sepsis outcomes. This review aims to elucidate the associations between cytokine gene polymorphisms and inflammatory responses, focusing on their impact on sepsis outcomes in surgical and trauma patients [4].

Extensive investigation has been conducted into the genetic component of sepsis susceptibility, mainly focusing on cytokine gene polymorphisms. Polymorphisms in genes encoding cluster of differentiation 86 (CD86), interleukin-8 (IL-8), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), and sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) have also been explored for their potential roles in sepsis susceptibility and associated complications [5-7].

Cytokines, small cell-signaling protein molecules, are pivotal in the inflammatory response. They orchestrate the body's reaction to infection and injury. An individual's genetic makeup can influence cytokine production and response, affecting the susceptibility to and severity of sepsis. Studies such as Baghel, et al. and Feng, et al. have highlighted the significance of polymorphisms in cytokine genes like TNF-α and IL-6 concerning postoperative sepsis [1-4,8].

Polymorphisms in cytokine genes, specifically single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been identified as critical factors that may alter gene expression and cytokine production. This genetic variability can lead to differences in individual immune responses, as noted in works by Sharma, et al. and Majetschak, et al. These variations can affect not only the propensity to develop sepsis but also its severity and outcome [7,8].

Cytokines, notably tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) play pivotal roles in the pathogenesis of sepsis, initiating and perpetuating the inflammatory response [1].

Genetic polymorphisms within cytokine genes have been associated with variable susceptibility to sepsis and variations in disease severity, with the TNF-α-308 G/A polymorphism notably linked to an elevated risk of postoperative sepsis [5-7].

The role of cytokine gene polymorphisms in trauma patients has also been a subject of interest. Trauma, leading to severe physical injury, can precipitate a systemic inflammatory response, escalating the risk of sepsis [8,9].

Wang, et al. shed light on the inflammatory cytokine expression in intensive care unit patients with sepsis, emphasizing the role of genetics in immune responses. Furthermore, Li and Yan delved into the effect of cytokine concentration on the immune level and survival conditions of elderly patients with sepsis, demonstrating the impact of genetic variations on sepsis outcomes [7,8,10,11].

The study by Majetschak, et al. provides insights into how TNF gene polymorphisms might influence sepsis susceptibility in trauma patients. Similarly, research by He, et al. explores the impact of IL-27 polymorphism on sepsis-induced inflammatory responses [9,12].

Moreover, the prognostic implications of these polymorphisms are noteworthy. Studies like Fatani, et al. and Hugo Montes, et al. delve into TNF-α polymorphisms' association with critically ill patients' sepsis outcomes [13,14]. These findings underscore the potential of using cytokine gene polymorphisms as biomarkers for predicting sepsis risk and consequences [2].

Complementary therapeutic strategies for sepsis, including acupuncture, have gained attention due to their potential to mitigate excessive inflammatory responses and organ damage [15].

Additionally, microvesicles containing mitochondrial content have emerged as potential sepsis biomarkers, given their association with inflammatory responses. Furthermore, multiomics approaches to predict postoperative outcomes in surgical patients are being explored and may have implications for sepsis risk assessment [15-17].

The objective of this review is to investigate and synthesize the current evidence on the association between genetic polymorphisms in cytokine genes and inflammatory responses, with a particular focus on the impact of these polymorphisms on sepsis outcomes in surgical and trauma patients; identify how specific genetic variations can influence cytokine production and subsequent inflammatory response, thereby affecting susceptibility to sepsis, disease severity, and clinical outcomes.

Understanding these genetic associations can contribute to developing personalized therapeutic strategies and improving the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sepsis in surgical and trauma populations, potentially leading to better clinical outcomes.

The research methodology involved a comprehensive search of multiple reputable databases to ensure the inclusion of relevant studies while minimizing the risk of bias. PubMed, Scopus, Scielo, Embase, and Web of Science were chosen due to their comprehensive coverage of peer-reviewed literature in the medical field. Additionally, Google Scholar was utilized to access gray literature, which often includes valuable insights not found in traditional peer-reviewed articles. The study's selection criteria were centered on the study's focus, which was artificial intelligence's impact on general surgeons' training. To refine the search and capture relevant studies, a combination of keywords was used, including "operative surgical procedures," "postoperative period," "systemic inflammatory response syndrome," "sepsis," "genetic polymorphism," and "prognostic factors." This approach ensured that the selected studies were directly related to the topic of interest. The inclusion criteria encompassed various studies, such as systematic reviews, case-control studies, cross-sectional studies, case series, and review articles. This broad inclusion criteria aimed to gather a comprehensive range of evidence and perspectives on the subject matter. The process of analysis, review, and selection of materials was conducted rigorously to maintain the quality and relevance of the chosen studies. It involved a systematic and blinded approach, with pairs of reviewers independently assessing the title and abstract of each study. In cases of disagreement between the two reviewers, a third reviewer was involved to reach a consensus and ensure the final selection of studies was based on well-founded criteria. This meticulous research methodology guarantees that the findings and conclusions drawn in the article are rooted in a robust and diverse body of evidence, enhancing the credibility and reliability of the study's outcomes.

The intricate relationship between genetic polymorphisms and the immune response in sepsis underscores the potential for precision medicine to alter clinical outcomes significantly. Exploring genetic determinants in sepsis susceptibility and response reveals a nuanced interplay where individual genetic profiles could guide therapeutic approaches [3-5].

The studies by Dong, et al. Lee, et al., Ahmed Ali, et al. and others have laid a foundation for understanding how variations in critical genes influence the pathogenesis and progression of sepsis, highlighting the necessity for a more personalized approach to managing this complex condition [18-20].

Genetic polymorphisms within cytokine genes have emerged as critical contributors to sepsis susceptibility. The TNF-α-308 G/A polymorphism, as highlighted by Baghel, et al. [1], exemplifies the influence of genetic variations on sepsis risk. This polymorphism has been associated with an elevated risk of postoperative sepsis, emphasizing the genetic component of sepsis predisposition [21,22].

This review explores the intricate relationship between genetic factors, particularly cytokine gene polymorphisms, and sepsis susceptibility, progression, and outcomes. Understanding the genetic underpinnings of sepsis is crucial for developing personalized therapeutic strategies and improved patient care [14-16].

The role of cytokines as central mediators of inflammation underscores their significance in sepsis. Identifying polymorphisms within genes encoding cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6, and HMGB1 suggests a direct link between genetic predisposition and the severity of sepsis [9-11].

The work of Lee, et al. on HMGB1 polymorphisms, for instance, offers insight into how these genetic variations may exacerbate or mitigate the inflammatory response. Similarly, Ahmed Ali, et al. provide evidence on the prognostic potential of IL-17 levels, suggesting that genetic backgrounds influence a broader array of inflammatory mediators, affecting sepsis outcomes beyond the commonly studied cytokines [19,20].

Polymorphisms within the genes encoding these cytokines can modulate their production and response, leading to variations in the intensity of the inflammatory cascade. This interplay between genetics and cytokine regulation underscores the significance of genetic factors in sepsis pathogenesis [18-21].

McDaniel, et al. emphasizes genetic profiling to predict sepsis risk post-trauma, which represents a significant stride toward preemptive identification of at-risk individuals, facilitating early intervention [21]. This approach, coupled with findings from Azeez, et al. on the interaction between vitamin C and genetic predispositions in modulating sepsis outcomes, illustrates the complex interplay between genetics, environmental factors, and therapeutic interventions [22].

The concept of genetic resilience against sepsis, as introduced by Hugo Montes, et al. opens new avenues for research into how specific genetic polymorphisms may confer protection against sepsis. This understanding could revolutionize sepsis management by identifying individuals with inherent protective genetic traits, potentially guiding the development of novel prophylactic strategies [14].

The potential for utilizing cytokine gene polymorphisms as biomarkers for sepsis susceptibility, as suggested by Fang, et al. points towards a future where diagnostic processes are significantly refined to incorporate genetic data, enabling clinicians to tailor treatments to individual genetic profiles [23]. Shu, et al. further exemplify this by demonstrating how therapeutic strategies, such as ulinastatin, can be optimized based on understanding the genetic underpinnings of cytokine responses [24].

As Yang, et al. explored, acupuncture represents a complementary therapeutic approach to sepsis management. Acupuncture exemplifies how interventions can be tailored to individual genetic profiles by mitigating excessive inflammatory responses and organ damage [15]. Additionally, microvesicles carrying mitochondrial content, as biomarkers highlighted by Zhang, et al. provide insights into potential genetic markers associated with sepsis and its inflammatory responses [16].

The use of multiomics approaches in predicting postoperative outcomes, as discussed by Verdonk, et al. reflects a growing interest in leveraging genetic information for patient risk assessment. Integrating genomics into clinical decision-making may allow for more personalized strategies to mitigate sepsis risk in surgical patients [17].

Sepsis susceptibility and outcomes are influenced not only by cytokine gene polymorphisms but also by polymorphisms in genes encoding CD86, TLR4, and SIRT6 [4,5]. These studies expand our understanding of the multifactorial genetic basis of sepsis and emphasize the need for a comprehensive genetic assessment [3,23,24].

The prognostic implications of genetic polymorphisms in sepsis are of paramount importance. Studies indicate the potential of using cytokine gene polymorphisms as biomarkers for predicting sepsis risk and outcomes. These findings highlight the promise of genetics in tailoring clinical interventions and predicting patient responses to sepsis [14-17].

The collective insights from these studies illuminate the path toward a more individualized approach to sepsis management. By integrating genetic information with clinical strategies, the potential exists to improve outcomes through more targeted therapies and enhance our understanding of sepsis at a molecular level [3,25].

The future of sepsis research and treatment lies in harnessing these genetic insights, paving the way for precision medicine to become a cornerstone of sepsis management. This endeavor necessitates a multidisciplinary approach, combining genomics, bioinformatics, and clinical expertise to unravel the complex genetic landscape that influences sepsis outcomes.

In conclusion, genetics plays a substantial role in sepsis susceptibility, progression, and outcomes. Cytokine gene polymorphisms and other genetic variations can significantly impact an individual's response to infection and sepsis. Complementary therapies, biomarkers, and multiomics approaches underscore the potential for personalized medicine in sepsis management. Future research should continue unraveling sepsis's intricate genetic underpinnings to improve surgical patient care and outcomes.

The authors thank the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Potiguar University, and Liga Contra o Cancer for supporting this study.

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