Objective: To investigate allelic variations of T cell receptor residues for a contribution to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility.
Methods: We conducted an RA case-control study involving 1,579 northwest Europeans: 766 patients with erosive and rheumatoid factor-positive disease and 813 control subjects. Productive changes of segments TCRAV6S1, TCRAV7S1, TCRAV8S1, TCRAV10S2, and TCRBV6S1, TCRBV6S7 were investigated by single-strand conformation polymorphisms. The TCRAV8S1 association was confirmed by restriction fragment length polymorphism.
Results: In the systematic study (77 patients and 119 controls), an increase in 1 TCRAV8S1 genotype was found in the RA patients (P = 0.0004). This finding was replicated in 2 further populations, one from France (212 patients and 254 controls) and the other from Britain (477 patients and 440 controls), with a similar odds ratio (OR), which allowed pooling of the data and confirmation of the association (OR 1.3 [95% confidence interval 1.1-1.7], P = 0.008).
Conclusion: These findings show evidence that TCRA is an RA susceptibility locus.