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Tumor Necrosis Factor α-308 and -238 Polymorphisms in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Association With Messenger RNA Expression and sTNF-α
  1. Edith Oregón-Romero, PhD,
  2. Mónica Vázquez-Del Mercado, MD, PhD,
  3. Sandra Luz Ruiz-Quezada, PhD,
  4. Rosa Elena Navarro-Hernández, PhD,
  5. Héctor Rangel-Villalobos, PhD,
  6. Gloria Martínez-Bonilla, MD, PhD,
  7. Ana Guilaisne Bernard-Medina, PhD,
  8. Juan Armendáriz-Borunda, PhD,
  9. Jesús García-Bañuelos, PhD,
  10. José Francisco Muñoz-Valle, PhD
  1. From the *Instituto de Investigación en Reumatología y del Sistema Músculo Esquelético, Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Guadalajara; †Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Departamento de Farmacobiología, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Exactas e Ingenierías, Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara; ‡Laboratorio de Genética Molecular, Centro Universitario de la Ciénega, Universidad de Guadalajara, Ocotlán; §Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Civil Fray Antonio Alcalde, Guadalajara; and ∥Instituto de Biología Molecular y Terapia Génica, Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.
  1. This work was supported by grant no. 45703-M to JFMV of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT, México-Universidad de Guadalajara).
  2. Reprints: José Francisco Muñoz-Valle, PhD, Insurgentes 244-1, Colonia Lomas de Atemajac, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, C.P. 45178. E-mail: biologiamolecular{at}


Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by a progressive joint damage mediated mainly by tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). We investigated the relationship of TNFα-308 and -238 polymorphisms with messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and soluble TNFα (sTNFα) in 50 RA and 100 healthy subjects (HS).

Methods Clinical and laboratory assessments were performed. Spanish Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, Spanish version of Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales and Disease Activity Score using 28 joint count indices were applied to RA patients. The TNFα-308 and -238 polymorphisms were performed by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism techniques. The mRNA expression of TNFα was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The sTNFα levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results The TNFα-308 polymorphism showed an increased frequency of guanine (G)/adenine (A) genotype in RA versus HS (P = 0.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-8.08; odds ratio, 2.9) and also the A allele was more frequent in RA patients versus HS (P = 0.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-7.29; odds ratio, 2.7). The G/G genotype and also the G allele were more frequent in HS. No significant difference was observed in TNFα-238 polymorphism. Rheumatoid arthritis patients showed high TNFα mRNA expression (1.33-fold). The G/G genotype was associated with high mRNA and sTNFα levels in both TNFα polymorphisms. The correlation of sTNFα levels with C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, Spanish Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, and Spanish version of Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales, was observed.

Conclusion The TNFα-308 polymorphism is a susceptibility marker to RA. The G/G genotype is associated with a high mRNA and soluble TNFα expression.

Key Words
  • TNFα polymorphisms
  • mRNA expression
  • sTNFα

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