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Fc-gamma Receptor Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Combination of polymorphisms linked to threefold risk for rheumatoid arthritis

FRIDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- People with a specific combination of two gene variants are three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA) than those with different combinations, according to a study published Nov. 10 in Arthritis Research "&" Therapy.

Ann W. Morgan, Ph.D., of the University of Leeds, U.K., and colleagues studied the frequency of various Fc-gamma receptor (FCGR) haplotypes in 147 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 127 healthy controls. Testing whether combinations of polymorphisms may more accurately predict RA development, the researchers confirmed previous findings that there is a link between the FCGR gene family and RA.

The study indicates that a specific variant combination of two FCGR genes on chromosome one, a FCGR3A-FCGR3B haplotype, makes people more susceptible to RA. One specific FCGR3A-FCGR3B haplotype was found in 31% of RA patients and in 37% of RA patients with a more severe type of RA. Individuals with two copies of this haplotype are three times more likely to develop RA.

These data may suggest why Fc-gamma receptors contribute to the development of RA, as they play an important role in initiation and regulation of immune responses, and bind RA associated antibodies, the authors write.

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