Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Differences in glucocorticoid (GC) sensitivity may underlie both common diseases (e.g. hypertension) and variability in response to treatment with GCs (e.g. asthma). We tested the potential involvement of the GC receptor (GR) gene in mediating GC sensitivity using haplotype analysis and a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test. Linkage disequilibrium across the GR gene was determined in 216 U.K. Caucasians, and 116 had a 0.25-mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test. Very strong linkage disequilibrium was observed across the GR gene with only four haplotypes accounting for 95% of those observed. Haplotype pattern mining and linear regression analyses independently identified a three-marker haplotype, across intron B, to be significantly associated with low postdexamethasone cortisol (P = 0.03). Carriage of this haplotype occurred in 41% of the individuals with low postdexamethasone cortisol vs. 23% in the combined other quartiles (odds ratio 2.4, 95% confidence interval 0.9-6.3, P = 0.05). This is the first comprehensive, haplotype based analysis of the GR gene. A three-point haplotype, within intron B, is associated with enhanced sensitivity to GCs. This haplotype may help predetermine variation in clinical response to GC therapy and also assist the understanding of diseases related to GC production.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Endocrinol Metab

Publication Date





892 - 897


Adult, Alleles, Case-Control Studies, Chronic Disease, Dexamethasone, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drug Resistance, Female, Gene Frequency, Genetic Markers, Genetic Testing, Glucocorticoids, Haplotypes, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Introns, Linear Models, Linkage Disequilibrium, Lymphocytes, Male, Osmolar Concentration, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Psoriasis, Receptors, Glucocorticoid