Analysis of T cell receptor V alpha polymorphisms in rheumatoid arthritis

Ann Rheum Dis. 1998 Jan;57(1):49-51. doi: 10.1136/ard.57.1.49.


Objective: To test for association of T cell receptor (TCR) V alpha polymorphisms and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in British and Swiss white populations.

Methods: TCRAV polymorphisms were analysed in RA patients and controls by single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Associations were sought between defined genotypes and RA, and the effect of HLA-DR4 status analysed. Putative associations were then retested further in new groups of patients and controls. Overall, 360 RA patients and 197 controls were studied.

Results: No association between TCRAV5S1, V6S1, V8S1, V17S1 or V21S1 polymorphisms and RA were observed in the initial population screened. Stratification for DR4 status showed an increase of V5S1*01/*01 in DR4 positive versus DR4 negative patients (chi 2 = 7.19, p = 0.028 (2df), p = 0.14 after correction for multiple comparisons). This putative association was tested in three further patient groups, none of which showed significant increase of V5S1*01/*01 in DR4 positive patients, although an overall trend towards an increase in V5S1*01/*01 was observed.

Conclusion: No evidence was found for a strong association of TCRAV genes and RA in a white population. However, these results suggest a weak association of V5S1*01/*01 with DR4 positive RA, although this requires confirmation using larger groups of patients and controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Female
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor alpha / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • HLA-DR4 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • White People


  • HLA-DR4 Antigen