Polymorphism of the CTLA-4 gene is associated with autoimmune hypothyroidism in the United Kingdom.
Nithiyananthan R., Heward JM., Allahabadia A., Franklyn JA., Gough SC.
The cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated-4 (CTLA-4) molecule plays an important role in immune regulation by downregulating activation of T cells by antigen-presenting cells. Polymorphisms of the CTLA-4 gene have been shown to be associated with susceptibility to a number of autoimmune diseases. Some, but not all, studies suggest association between the CTLA-4 gene and autoimmune hypothyroidism. The aim of this study was to determine whether allelic association was present between the A-G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at position 49 in exon 1 of the CTLA-4 gene and autoimmune hypothyroidism. The study was performed in 158 patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism and 384 control subjects. All subjects were white Caucasians from the United Kingdom. Genotyping was carried out by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using the restriction enzyme Bbv1. There was a significant excess of the G allele in patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism compared with controls (43% vs. 32% respectively; chi2 = 10.7, p = 0.001; odds ratio 1.57). The GG and the AG genotypes were found to be more frequent in patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism than controls (17% vs. 8.8% and 50% vs. 46% respectively; chi2 = 11.7, p = 0.003). These results suggest that the CTLA-4 gene region on chromosome 2q33 is a susceptibility locus for autoimmune hypothyroidism in the United Kingdom.