Cellular and molecular neurobiology 2017 07 15() doi 10.1007/s10571-017-0522-0
Lower production of adrenal androgens has been confirmed in females with rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, the mechanisms of this finding are not completely understood. The aim of our study was to assess the contribution of genetic factors associated with variability of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels to lower DHEAS in female RA patients.
448 RA and 648 healthy controls were genotyped for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes ZKSCAN5 (rs11761528), SULT2A1 (rs2637125), HHEX (rs2497306), and ARPC1A (rs740160). Serum DHEAS concentrations were measured in 112 RA patients and 91 healthy women.
The allele frequencies in DHEAS-related loci were similar in RA and controls. RA patients had significantly lower serum DHEAS concentrations compared to healthy women. The cumulative number of alleles associated with lower DHEAS within genes ZKSCAN5, SULT2A1, HHEX, and ARPC1A present in each individual negatively correlated with DHEAS levels in RA patients, but not in controls. Linear regression analysis showed significant effect of polymorphisms in genes ZKSCAN5 and ARPC1A on serum DHEAS levels in female RA patients but not in the control group.
Our findings suggest that complex interactions exist between genotype and adrenal androgen hypofunction in RA.