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The MHC2TA -168A>G gene polymorphism is not associated with rheumatoid arthritis in Austrian patients

Babak Yazdani-Biuki1, Kerstin Brickmann1, Klaus Wohlfahrt1, Thomas Mueller1, Winfried März2, Wilfried Renner2, Manuela Gutjahr2, Uwe Langsenlehner3, Peter Krippl3, Thomas C Wascher4, Bernhard Paulweber5, Winfried Graninger1 and Hans-Peter Brezinschek1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Medical University Graz, Austria

2 Clinical Institute of Medical and Laboratory Diagnostics, Medical University Graz, Austria

3 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology, Medical University Graz, Austria

4 Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetes and Metabolism Clinic, Medical University Graz, Austria

5 Department of Internal Medicine, Landeskrankenanstalten Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R97  doi:10.1186/ar1974

Published: 15 June 2006


An association between susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a common -168A>G polymorphism in the MHC2TA gene with differential major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II molecule expression was recently reported in a Swedish population. The objective of the present study was to replicate this finding by examining the -168A>G polymorphism in an Austrian case–control study. Three hundred and sixty-two unrelated RA cases and 351 sex-matched and age-matched controls as well as 1,709 Austrian healthy individuals were genotyped. All participants were from the same ethnic background. Genotyping was performed using 5' allelic discrimination assays. The association between susceptibility to RA and the -168A>G single nucleotide polymorphism was examined by chi-square test. Comparison was made assuming a dominant effect (AG + GG genotypes versus AA genotype). In contrast to the primary report, the frequency of MHC2TA -168G allele carriers was not significantly different between patients and controls in the Austrian cohort. The homozygous MHC2TA -168 GG genotype was more frequent in matched controls than in Austrian RA patients. There was no association between the presence of RA-specific autoantibodies and the MHC2TA -168 GG genotype. In this cohort of Austrian patients, no association between the MHC2TA polymorphism and RA was found.