Azathioprine (AZA) and its metabolite, mercaptopurine (6-MP), are widely used immunosuppressant drugs. Polymorphisms in genes implicated in AZA/6-MP metabolism, reportedly, could account in part for their potential toxicity. In the present study we performed a systematic review and a meta-analysis, comprising 30 studies and 3582 individuals, to investigate the putative genetic association of two inosine triphosphatase (ITPA) polymorphisms with adverse effects in patients treated with AZA/6-MP. We found that rs1127354 is associated with neutropenia in general populations and in children (OR: 2.39, 95%CI: 1.97–2.90, and OR: 2.43, 95%CI: 2.12–2.79, respectively), and with all adverse effects tested herein in adult populations (OR: 2.12, 95%CI: 1.22–3.69). We also found that rs7270101 is associated with neutropenia and leucopenia in all-ages populations (OR: 2.93, 95%CI: 2.36–3.63, and OR: 2.82, 95%CI: 1.76–4.50, respectively) and with all adverse effects tested herein in children (OR: 1.74, 95%CI: 1.06–2.87). Stratification according to background disease, in combination with multiple comparisons corrections, verified neutropenia to be associated with both polymorphisms, in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. These findings suggest that ITPA polymorphisms could be used as predictive biomarkers for adverse effects of thiopurine drugs to eliminate intolerance in ALL patients and clarify dosing in patients with different ITPA variants.
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PIK and PGB acknowledge support of this work by the project “ELIXIR-GR: The Greek Research Infrastructure for Data Management and Analysis in Life Sciences”, Grant Number (MIS) 5002780.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Barba, E., Kontou, P.I., Michalopoulos, I. et al. Association of ITPA gene polymorphisms with adverse effects of AZA/6-MP administration: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pharmacogenomics J 22, 39–54 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41397-021-00255-3