Gender-specific effects of genetic variants within Th1 and Th17 cell-mediated immune response genes on the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
The present study was conducted to explore whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Th1 and Th17 cell-mediated immune response genes differentially influence the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women and men. In phase one, 27 functional/tagging polymorphisms in C-type lectins and MCP-1/CCR2 axis were genotyped in 458 RA patients and 512 controls. Carriers of Dectin-2 rs4264222T allele had an increased risk of RA (OR?=?1.47, 95%CI 1.10-1.96) whereas patients harboring the DC-SIGN rs4804803G, MCP-1 rs1024611G, MCP-1 rs13900T and MCP-1 rs4586C alleles had a decreased risk of developing the disease (OR?=?0.66, 95%CI 0.49-0.88; OR?=?0.66, 95%CI 0.50-0.89; OR?=?0.73, 95%CI 0.55-0.97 and OR?=?0.68, 95%CI 0.51-0.91). Interestingly, significant gender-specific differences were observed for Dectin-2 rs4264222 and Dectin-2 rs7134303: women carrying the Dectin-2 rs4264222T and Dectin-2 rs7134303G alleles had an increased risk of RA (OR?=?1.93, 95%CI 1.34-2.79 and OR?=?1.90, 95%CI 1.29-2.80). Also five other SNPs showed significant associations only with one gender: women carrying the MCP-1 rs1024611G, MCP-1 rs13900T and MCP-1 rs4586C alleles had a decreased risk of RA (OR?=?0.61, 95%CI 0.43-0.87; OR?=?0.67, 95%CI 0.47-0.95 and OR?=?0.60, 95%CI 0.42-0.86). In men, carriers of the DC-SIGN rs2287886A allele had an increased risk of RA (OR?=?1.70, 95%CI 1.03-2.78), whereas carriers of the DC-SIGN rs4804803G had a decreased risk of developing the disease (OR?=?0.53, 95%CI 0.32-0.89). In phase 2, we genotyped these SNPs in 754 RA patients and 519 controls, leading to consistent gender-specific associations for Dectin-2 rs4264222, MCP-1 rs1024611, MCP-1 rs13900 and DC-SIGN rs4804803 polymorphisms in the pooled sample (OR?=?1.38, 95%CI 1.08-1.77; OR?=?0.74, 95%CI 0.58-0.94; OR?=?0.76, 95%CI 0.59-0.97 and OR?=?0.56, 95%CI 0.34-0.93). SNP-SNP interaction analysis of significant SNPs also showed a significant two-locus interaction model in women that was not seen in men. This model consisted of Dectin-2 rs4264222 and Dectin-2 rs7134303 SNPs and suggested a synergistic effect between the variants. These findings suggest that Dectin-2, MCP-1 and DC-SIGN polymorphisms may, at least in part, account for gender-associated differences in susceptibility to RA.