The genetic contribution to the aetiology of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) is not well defined. Across different autoimmune diseases some genes with immunomodulatory roles, such as PTPN22, are frequently associated with multiple diseases, whereas specific HLA associations, such as HLA-B27, tend to be disease restricted. We studied ten candidate loci on the basis of their immunoregulatory role and prior associations with type 1 diabetes (T1D). These included PTPN22, CTLA4 and CD226, which have previously been associated with AAV.
Our study of T1D associated SNPs in AAV has confirmed CTLA4 and PTPN22 as susceptibility loci in AAV. These genes encode two key regulators of the immune response and are associated with many autoimmune diseases, including T1D, autoimmune thyroid disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and now AAV.
We genotyped the following 11 SNPs, from 10 loci, in 641 AAV patients using TaqMan genotyping: rs2476601 in PTPN22, rs1990760 in IFIH1, rs3087243 in CTLA4, rs2069763 in IL2, rs10877012 in CYP27B1, rs2292239 in ERBB3, rs3184504 in SH2B3, rs12708716 in CLEC16A, rs1893217 and rs478582 in PTPN2 and rs763361 in CD226. Where possible, we performed a meta-analysis with previous analyses.
Both CTLA4 rs3087243 and PTPN22 rs2476601 showed association with AAV, P = 6.4 x 10-3 and P = 1.4 x 10-4 respectively. The minor allele (A) of CTLA4 rs3087243 is protective (odds ratio = 0.84), whereas the minor allele (A) of PTPN22 rs2476601 confers susceptibility (odds ratio = 1.40). These results confirmed previously described associations with AAV. After meta-analysis, the PTPN22 rs2476601 association was further strengthened (combined P = 4.2 x 10-7, odds ratio of 1.48 for the A allele). The other 9 SNPs, including rs763361 in CD226, showed no association with AAV.