Author(s): MARTHE T MAEHLEN
Studies of Caucasian populations have shown conflicting results concerning the association between a promoter polymorphism –169T>C of the Fc receptor-like 3 (FCRL3) gene and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is unknown whether FCRL3 is associated with autoantibody status and disease severity. We investigated associations between FCRL3 –169T>C and autoantibody status and joint damage in patients with RA.
A total of 652 Norwegian patients with RA from 2 cohorts and 981 Norwegian controls, previously genotyped for FCRL3 –169T>C (rs7528684), were studied. Data on anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) and rheumatoid factor (RF) were available. The EURIDISS cohort (disease duration ≤ 4 yrs at baseline) was followed longitudinally, with assessment of radiographic hand damage at baseline and after 10 years (n = 117) according to the van der Heijde-modified Sharp score.
We found significant associations with ACPA-positive RA for both the C allele (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.08–1.52, p = 0.004) and the C/C genotype (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.18–2.10, p = 0.002). Similar associations were seen with RF-positive RA. No association was found with ACPA-negative or RF-negative RA. The C/C genotype was found to be associated with 10-year radiographic progression in multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses, after adjustment for ACPA, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, age, and sex.
The promoter polymorphism of FCRL3 was associated with autoantibody-positive RA. Despite the low number of patients, the C/C genotype of the FCRL3 polymorphism consistently and independently predicted radiographic progression. These findings suggest that FCRL3 is involved in both disease susceptibility and progression.Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology