Previous studies on primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) have focused on the role of T lymphocytes as potential effectors of tissue injury. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes involved in lymphocyte proliferation would be responsible for uncontrolled expansion of T cells and autoreactivity. To address this, we genotyped DNA from 154 patients with PBC and 166 ethnically matched healthy controls for SNPs of five candidate genes (60G/A CTLA-4, 1858 C/T LYP, -IVS9 C/T foxp3, p1323 C/G ICOS and -9606 T/C CD25) using a TaqMan assay. We report herein a statistically significant decrease in homozygosity rate for the 60A*CTLA-4 allele in patients with PBC compared to controls (p = 0.0411). Moreover, we found a significant association of the same allele and of the LYP*T allele with anti-mitochondrial antibody (AMA) serum negativity (p = 0.0304 and 0.0094, respectively). No association between any of the other studied SNPs and PBC susceptibility, progression, or AMA status was observed. In conclusion, given the high prevalence of SNPs in CTLA-4 detected in numerous autoimmune diseases, we encourage a more detailed genetic analysis of this candidate gene. Further, although obtained from a limited number of AMA-negative subjects, our data suggest a potential genetic heterogeneity for this specific subgroup of patients with PBC.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
- Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Developmental Biology