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.
- TNFα polymorphisms
- mRNA expression
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