Aims: We investigated whether several polymorphisms within the methotrexate (MTX) pathway genes were related to the toxicity and efficacy of MTX in 92 Japanese patients with articular-type juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Methods: Eight gene polymorphisms within the MTX pathway genes, namely, RFC, BCRP, MTHFR (two), FPGS, γ-glutamyl hydrolase (GGH; two) and ATIC, were genotyped using TaqMan assays. Liver dysfunction was defined as an increase in alanine transaminase to five times the normal upper limit. Non-responders to MTX were defined as patients refractory to MTX and were therefore treated with biologics.
Results: The non-TT genotype at GGH T16C was associated with a high risk of liver dysfunction (P=0.028, odds ratio=6.90, 95% confidence interval 1.38-34.5), even after adjustment for the duration of MTX treatment. A longer interval from disease onset to treatment (8.5 and 21.3 months, P=0.029) and rheumatoid factor positivity (P=0.026, odds ratio=2.87, 95% confidence interval 1.11-7.39) were associated with lower efficacy of MTX.
Conclusions: The non-TT genotype at GGH T16C was associated with a high risk of liver dysfunction, presumably because the C allele of GGH C16T may reduce the activity of GGH. The time interval before MTX treatment and rheumatoid factor positivity were associated with the efficacy of MTX treatment. The pharmacogenetics of the MTX pathway genes affects the toxicity and efficacy of MTX in Japanese JIA patients.
© 2011 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2011 The British Pharmacological Society.