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CTLA-4 gene polymorphism and its association with Graves’ disease in the Lebanese population

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Graves’ disease is an organ-specific autoimmune disease that has a female predominance. It is probably the result of a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. This disease is characterized by immune system activation, evidenced by elevated serum thyroid-specific autoantibodies and lymphocytic infiltration of the target organ (the thyroid gland), associated with raised levels of circulating activated T lymphocytes. Several reports have demonstrated genetic linkage and association between the genetic markers of the CTLA-4 gene on chromosome 2q33 and Graves’ disease. In order to confirm this association in the Lebanese population, a bi-allelic A/G polymorphism at position 49 of CTLA-4 exon 1 was studied in 34 patients with Graves’ disease, and in 38 healthy individuals, using polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) analysis. The results showed a significant increase in allele and genotype frequencies in patients with Graves’ disease compared to controls. This suggests that the CTLA-4 gene might play a role in the development of Graves’ disease in the Lebanese population.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004


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