OBJECTIVE: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most frequent vasculitis in European and North American countries. Increased expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) has been observed within the inflammatory infiltrates of blood vessels and serum of patients with GCA and in other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. MCP-1 gene polymorphisms have been reported to contribute to susceptibility to several immune and inflammatory conditions. To investigate the clinical implication of MCP-1 polymorphisms in GCA, we examined the association of 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in a series of patients with GCA from Northwest Spain. METHODS: Seventy-nine patients with biopsy proven GCA and 99 ethnically matched controls were studied. Patients and controls were genotyped for MCP-1 polymorphisms. SNP included in this study (rs2857657, rs4586, rs139000) were located in intron 1(G/C), exon 2(T/C), and 3'UTR(C/T) region of MCP-1 gene. RESULTS: The distribution of the alleles and genotypes for each MCP-1 polymorphism showed no significant differences between GCA patients and controls. When we compared the overall distribution of haplotype frequencies between GCA cases and controls a significant difference was observed (p = 0.005, by chi-square test from 4 2 contingency table). In addition, haplotype C-C was significantly increased in GCA patients compared with controls (p = 0.03, OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.09-4.02). Similarly, haplotype T-T was overrepresented in GCA patients (p = 0.005). CONCLUSION: Significant differences in haplotype frequencies between GCA patients and controls may indicate a role for MCP-1 gene in susceptibility to GCA.