Objective: Osteoarthritis (OA) is recognized to have a genetic component, and in this study, we aimed to replicate in a case-control study of men and women with clinical knee OA genetic associations in 12 candidate genes previously reported to be associated with OA.
Methods: Twenty-five single-nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in 298 men and 305 women ages 50-86 who were diagnosed as having knee OA, as assessed both clinically and radiographically, and in 297 men and 299 women matched for age and ethnicity (controls). Standardized anteroposterior radiographs of the knee in extension were performed on each of the cases, and all cases met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for OA of the knee. Genotype and haplotype frequencies in cases and controls were compared separately in men and women. The 12 genes tested were AACT, ADAM12, BMP2, CD36, CILP, COX2, ESR1, NCOR2, OPG, TNA, TNFAIP6, and VDR.
Results: Eight of the candidate genes were associated in women and 5 in men, and only 3 genes (TNFAIP6, NCOR2, and CD36) were not significantly associated in either sex. The strongest associations in terms of odds ratios (ORs) were a haplotype in ADAM12 (OR 7.1 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 3.3-33.8]) and a haplotype in ESR1 (OR 3.6 [95% CI 1.18-10.98]) in women. The same ADAM12 haplotype (OR 2.54 [95% CI 1.2-5.4]) and a haplotype in the CILP gene (OR 0.38 [95% CI 0.23-0.62]) were the strongest associations in men.
Conclusion: We found that genes previously identified by their association with subclinical features of knee OA or progression were also associated with clinical knee OA. These genetic associations may identify individuals at a particularly high risk of developing knee OA.