Association of polymorphisms in the TLR4 gene with the risk of developing neutropenia in children with leukemia

K. G.E. Miedema, E. M. Te Poele, W. J.E. Tissing, D. S. Postma, G. H. Koppelman, A. P. De Pagter, W. A. Kamps, B. Z. Alizadeh, H. M. Boezen, E. S.J.M. De Bont

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Susceptibility to infections increases as the neutrophil count decreases. Despite identical treatment patients vary considerably in the number of neutropenic episodes. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) has been shown to have a role in inhibiting apoptosis of neutrophils. Therefore, we hypothesized that polymorphisms in the TLR4 gene may influence the number of chemotherapy-induced neutropenic episodes. Eight single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TLR4 gene were determined in 194 children aged 0-17 years, who were diagnosed with ALL. We compared the genotype distributions of the SNPs with the frequency of neutropenic episodes during treatment with chemotherapeutic regimens. The number of neutropenic episodes varied from 0 to 17, with a median of four neutropenic episodes. Four SNPs in the TLR4 gene (rs10759931, rs11536889, rs1927911 and rs6478317) were associated with an increased risk of developing chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, each sustaining correction for multiple testing. Further studies are required to elucidate whether pediatric patients with ALL with the particular SNPs in the TLR4 gene also experience more infections and would benefit from prophylactic antibiotic treatment, by a reduction of morbidity and mortality due to infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1000
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • neutropenia
  • polymorphisms
  • TLR4


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