Polymorphism in the tumor necrosis factor-α gene promoter is associated with severity of rheumatoid arthritis in the Czech population
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a model of multigenic inflammatory disorder in which tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) plays an important role. Genetic factors may be implicated in the susceptibility to disease initiation as well as in severity of disease course. Elevated levels of TNF-α in the plasma and synovial fluid from RA patients may be associated with polymorphisms in the promoter region of the TNF-α gene. The aim of this study was to elucidate putative association between the −308 G/A polymorphism in the promoter region of the TNF-α gene and susceptibility to onset and severity of RA. A total of 130 RA patients and a control group of 150 healthy subjects with similar age and sex distribution were available for the study. All patients fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology revised criteria for RA. RA patients had a disease duration of at least 2 years. Radiographs of both hands of all RA patients were scored with the Steinbrocker method. There were 15 patients of stage I (nonerosive form) of RA and 114 patients of stages II–IV (erosive form). To assess the RA patient’s functional ability, the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) was used. The −308 G/A promoter polymorphism of the TNF-α gene was detected by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. No differences in genotype distribution and allelic frequences of −308 G/A TNF-α promoter polymorphism have been found between RA patients and the control group. Significant differences have been observed within the RA group divided according to the radiographic progression of disease based on the Steinbrocker radiographic score and functional ability (HAQ). These results suggest an association of the −308 G/A polymorphism of the TNF-α gene with the severity of RA.
KeywordsGene Polymorphism Rheumatoid arthritis Severity TNF-α
The study was supported by research project no. NR7812-3/2004, Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.
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