Background & aims: Recent studies have suggested that HLA DRB1*0103 and allele 2 of the interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) gene predict severe and extensive ulcerative colitis, respectively. The aim of this study was to test these hypotheses in patients undergoing surgery for their colitis.
Methods: HLA DRB1 and DQB1 genotyping was performed in 99 patients and 472 controls. Genotyping for polymorphisms of genes encoding tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-1RA was performed in 107 patients and 89 controls. Measurement of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) was performed in 72 patients and 58 healthy subjects by fixed neutrophil enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and indirect immunofluorescence.
Results: The DRB1*0103 allele was increased in patients (14.1% vs. 3.2% in controls; P < 1 x 10[-5]). This association was greatest in patients with extensive disease (15.8%; P < 0.0001) or extraintestinal manifestations (22.8%; P < 0.0001): mouth ulcers (25.8%; P < 0.0001), arthritis (27.2%; P < 0.0001), and uveitis (35.7%; P < 0.0001). The DRB1*04 alleles were reduced in patients (P = 0.005). Differences were noted between extensive and distal disease in the frequency of allele 2 of IL-1RA (10.9% in distal vs. 28.6% in extensive; P = 0.01) and allele 2 homozygosity. ANCA was detected in 76.4% of patients. Carriage of IL-1RA allele 2 and tumor necrosis factor 2 allele was increased in ANCA-positive patients.
Conclusions: Genetic markers may predict disease behavior in ulcerative colitis.