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A functional polymorphism in B and T lymphocyte attenuator is associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis

, : A functional polymorphism in B and T lymphocyte attenuator is associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical & Developmental Immunology 2011: 305656-305656

Inhibitory coreceptors are thought to play important roles in maintaining immunological homeostasis, and a defect in the negative signals from inhibitory coreceptors may lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. We have recently identified B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA), a new inhibitory coreceptor expressed on immune cells, and we suggest that BTLA may be involved in the development of autoimmune diseases using BTLA-deficient mice. However, the role of BTLA in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases in humans remains unknown. We, therefore, examined the possible association between BTLA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and Sjögren's syndrome (SS) by conducting a case-control genetic association study. We found that 590C single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of BTLA gene was significantly associated with susceptibility to RA, but not to SLE or SS. Furthermore, RA patients bearing this 590C SNP developed the disease significantly earlier than the patients without this allele. We also found that BTLA with 590C allele lacked the inhibitory activity on concanavalin A- and anti-CD3 Ab-induced IL-2 production in Jurkat T cells. These results suggest that BTLA is an RA-susceptibility gene and is involved in the protection from autoimmunity in humans.


PMID: 21403914

DOI: 10.1155/2011/305656

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