Objective: Certain forms of primary osteoarthritis (OA), particularly those affecting hand joints, have a genetic component. Recent studies have shown suggestive evidence that hand and knee OA are linked with the interleukin-1 (IL-1) region on human chromosome 2q. This study was undertaken to assess the association of primary OA of the hand (hand OA) with IL-1 region markers.
Methods: Sixty-eight US Caucasoid cases and 51 US Caucasoid controls aged 60 years or older were recruited from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Hand OA was classified by American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Clinical Criteria, and cases were subjected to radiographic examination for subgrouping. Genotyping was done for seven previously described single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes for IL-1alpha (encoded by IL1A), IL-1beta (IL1B), and the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN), as well as an IL1RN variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) marker. Six microsatellite markers on other chromosomes (null loci) were also typed.
Results: The IL1B 5810 G>A SNP genotypes marker were not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (p<0.05 in both non-erosive and erosive hand OA subgroups). Statistically significant association with the IL1B 5810 AA genotype was found in the erosive hand OA subgroup (relative risk 3.8, p=0.007). This IL1B 5810 AA genotype association was also significant between erosive and non-erosive hand OA subjects (relative risk 4.01, p=0.008). As expected, significant linkage disequilibrium was present between IL1B 5810 SNP and IL1A (-)889 SNP, other IL1B SNPs, and the nearest IL1RN SNP examined. The IL1B 5810A allele occurs most frequently on haplotypes with the SNP alleles IL1B 1423C, IL1B 1903T, IL1B 5887C, and IL1A (-)889C. Genotypes at null loci failed to show evidence suggesting population stratification that might account for spurious association.
Conclusion: Statistical evidence shows association between erosive hand OA and a genomic region containing the IL1B 5810 SNP in a US Caucasoid population. This supports a potential role for IL-1 in the pathogenesis of a severe phenotype of hand OA.