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Common variants within the interleukin 4 receptor alpha gene (IL4R) are associated with susceptibility to osteoarthritis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John LoughlinORCiD


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Primary osteoarthritis (OA) is a common late-onset arthritis that demonstrates a complex mode of transmittance with both joint-site and gender-specific heterogeneity. We have previously linkage-mapped an OA susceptibility locus to a 12-cM interval at chromosome 16p12.3-p12.1 in a cohort of 146 affected female sibling-pair families ascertained by total hip replacement (female-THR families), with a maximum multipoint LOD score of 1.7. Despite the low LOD score, we were encouraged to investigate this interval further following the report of a linkage to the same interval in an Icelandic pedigree with an early-onset form of hip OA. Using public databases, we searched the interval for plausible candidates and concluded that the gene encoding the interleukin 4 receptor alpha chain (IL4R) was a particularly strong candidate based on its known role in cartilage homeostasis. We genotyped nine common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from within IL4R, including six non-synonymous SNPs, in the 146 probands from our female-THR families (stage 1) and in an independent cohort of 310 female-THR cases (stage 2). We compared allele frequencies with those of 399 age-matched female controls. All individuals were UK Caucasians. The minor alleles of two SNPs demonstrated association in both stages, with the most significant association having a P-value of 0.004 with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.1. These two SNPs defined two associated SNP groups. Inheriting a minor SNP allele from both groups was a particular risk factor (OR=2.4, P=0.0008). Our data suggest that functional variants within the IL4R gene predispose to hip OA in Caucasian females.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Forster T, Chapman K, Loughlin J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Genetics

Year: 2004

Volume: 114

Issue: 4

Pages: 391-395

ISSN (print): 0340-6717

ISSN (electronic): 1432-1203

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00439-004-1083-0


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