Association between STAT4 Gene Polymorphisms and Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases in a Chinese Population
OBJECTIVE STAT3 and 4 are, among other factors, critical for the interleukin 12 (IL-12)-mediated Th1 response, for transfer of IL-23 signals, and for survival and expansion of Th17 cells. We investigated the association of STAT3 and STAT4 polymorphisms with serologically distinct subgroups of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS A total of 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) within STAT3 and STAT1-STAT4 loci were investigated in a Swedish cohort of 2043 RA cases and 1115 controls. Nine of the associated SNP were tested in a Spanish cohort of 1223 RA cases and 1090 controls. RESULTS Fourteen SNP in the STAT3 and STAT1-STAT4 loci were associated with anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-negative RA in the Swedish cohort. Three of the SNP in STAT4 and 2 SNP in STAT3 remained associated with ACPA-negative RA after considering the Spanish results. In addition, rs7574865 and rs10181656, in STAT4, were associated with ACPA-positive RA in the Swedish study. One of these SNP, rs7574865, showed a similar pattern of the association in serologically distinct subgroups of RA in a metaanalysis of all 7 published studies. CONCLUSION Our findings suggest that variants in STAT genes may contribute differentially to susceptibility to RA in seropositive and in seronegative patients.