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Association of Epstein-Barr virus with systemic lupus erythematosus - effect modification by race, age, and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associate antigen 4 genotype.
Parks CG; Cooper GS; Hudson LL; Dooley MA; Treadwell EL; St Clair EW; Gilkeson GS; Pandey JP
Arthritis Rheum 2005 Apr; 52(4):1148-1159
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is hypothesized to play a role in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) is important in regulating T cell-mediated immunity, encompassing the first line of response to viral infections, and genetic variation in CTLA-4 has been associated with SLE. This study examined the seroprevalence of EBV in a population-based study of SLE patients from the southeastern United States, and potential interactions with CTLA-4 polymorphisms were assessed. Cases comprised 230 subjects recently diagnosed as having SLE (144 African American and 86 white) from university and community-based clinics, and controls comprised 276 age-, sex-, and state-matched subjects (72 African American and 204 white) recruited from driver's license registries. Antibodies to EBV capsid antigen were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, with results expressed as positive or negative using the international standardized ratio (ISR) (a ratio of the sample absorbance to a known standard). CTLA-4 genotypes were identified by polymerase chain reaction-based methods. In African Americans, EBV-IgA seroprevalence was strongly associated with SLE (odds ratio [OR] 5.6, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 3.0-10.6). In whites, the modest association of SLE with EBV-IgA (OR 1.6) was modified by age, in that the strongest association was observed in those older than age 50 years (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.6-10.4). The seroprevalence of EBV-IgM and that of EBV-IgG were not associated with SLE. Higher EBV-IgG absorbance ratios were observed in SLE patients, with a significant dose response across units of the ISR in African Americans (P < 0.0001). Allelic variation in the CTLA-4 gene promoter (-1661A/G) significantly modified the association between SLE and EBV-IgA (P = 0.03), with a stronger association among those with the -1661AA genotype. These findings suggest that repeated or reactivated EBV infection, which results in increased EBV-IgA seroprevalence and higher IgG antibody titers, may be associated with SLE, and that the CTLA-4 genotype influences immune responsiveness to EBV in SLE patients. The observed patterns of effect modification by race, age, and CTLA-4 genotype should be examined in other studies and may help frame new hypotheses regarding the role of EBV in SLE etiology.
Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Sex-factors; Racial-factors; Cytotoxins; Antigens; Viral-infections; Viral-diseases; Age-groups; Immune-reaction; Etiology
Christine G. Parks, Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Arthritis and Rheumatism
WV; NC; SC
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division