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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Sep;17(9):1473-7. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00099-10. Epub 2010 Jul 7.

Association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 and susceptibility to autoimmune type 1 diabetes in Tunisians.

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Research Unit of Hematological and Autoimmune Diseases, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.


In addition to HLA and insulin genes, the costimulatory molecule CTLA-4 gene is a confirmed type 1 diabetes (T1D) susceptibility gene. Previous studies investigated the association of CTLA-4 genetic variants with the risk of T1D, but with inconclusive findings. Here, we tested the contributions of common CTLA-4 gene variants to T1D susceptibility in Tunisian patients and control subjects. The study subjects comprised 228 T1D patients (47.8% females) and 193 unrelated healthy controls (45.6% females). Genotyping for CTLA-4 CT60A/G (rs3087243), +49A/G (rs231775), and -318C/T (rs5742909) was performed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. The minor-allele frequencies (MAF) for the three CTLA-4 variants were significantly higher in T1D patients, and significantly higher frequencies of homozygous +49G/G and homozygous CT60G/G genotypes were seen in patients, which was confirmed by univariate regression analysis (taking the homozygous wild type as a reference). Of the eight possible three-locus CTLA-4 haplotypes (+49A/G, -318C/T, and CT60A/G) identified, multivariate regression analysis confirmed the positive association of ACG (odds ratio [OR], 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.26 to 2.94), GCG (OR, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.11 to 5.21), and GTA (OR, 4.67; 95% CI, 1.52 to 14.39) haplotypes with T1D, after confounding variables were adjusted for. Our results indicate that CTLA-4 gene variants are associated with increased T1D susceptibility in Tunisian patients, further supporting a central role for altered T-cell costimulation in T1D pathogenesis.

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