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Association of TNF-α polymorphisms (-857, -863 and -1031), TNF-α serum level and lipid profile with acne vulgarisBackground Acne is an inflammatory condition principally affected by genetic and dietary factors. Investigation into functional polymorphisms of TNF-α gene and their association with acne vulgaris will be helpful in exploring genetic influence on skin immune mediated inflammatory events. In the present study, we analyzed association of TNF-α gene polymorphisms, its expression levels and lipid profiles in a large cohort of acne patients and controls. Methods We used PCR-RFLP to study association of TNF-α polymorphisms at −857C/T, −863C/A and −1031 T/C sites with acne vulgaris. Lipid profiles were measured using enzymatic end-point method. The serum levels of TNF-α and apolipoprotein a were measured using ELISA. NIH, LDlink was used to investigate patterns of linkage disequilibrium across south Asian reference genome (Punjabi from Lahore Pakistan). Results We found that TNF-α −863 polymorphism is strongly associated with acne in overall population as well as in gender and severity based groups of acne patients. Polymorphisms at −863 and −1031 position were in linkage disequilibrium. Importantly, TNF-α serum level was significantly increased in acne patients with severe disease symptoms. Furthermore, levels of total cholesterol (TC) and triglycerides (TG) were significantly increased, whereas high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level was significantly decreased in acne patients. The levels of apolipoprotein a varied widely in studied populations and no significant difference was found in the analyzed groups. Conclusion In conclusion, we found that TNF-α expression increases in acne patients affected by TNF-α polymorphisms, and that the lipid profile is specifically disrupted in acne patients.