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Microb Pathog. 1999 Jan;26(1):35-43.

Frequency of apolipoprotein E (APOE) allele types in patients with Chlamydia-associated arthritis and other arthritides.

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Department Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 East Canfield Avenue, Detroit, MI, 48201, USA.


Genetic background is important in determining whether certain infecting bacteria disseminate to the joint and cause arthritis. We assessed whether APOE genotype is associated with the presence of DNA from Chlamydia or other bacteria in synovial tissues of patients with various arthritides. Nucleic acids from synovial tissues of 135 patients were screened by PCR for DNA from Chlamydia trachomatis, C. pneumoniae and other bacteria (pan-bacteria). APOE genotype was determined by a PCR-based method for all patients in each of four resulting groups comprised of about 35 individuals each, positive for C. trachomatis only, C. pneumoniae only, other bacteria, or no bacteria. RT-PCR was used to assess synovial APOE expression. The latter assays confirmed that APOE mRNA is present in synovial tissue. Determination of APOE genotype showed that patients PCR-negative in all assays, and those positive in the C. trachomatis - and pan-bacteria- (excluding Chlamydia) directed assays, had distributions of the APOE epsilon2, epsilon3 and epsilon4 alleles mirroring those of the general population (i.e. about 8%, 79% and 13%, respectively). In contrast, 68% of patients with C. pneumoniae DNA in synovium possessed a copy of the epsilon4 allele. These results indicate that no association exists between APOE genotype and synovial presence of C. trachomatis or other bacteria. However, individuals bearing at least one copy of the APOE epsilon4 allele may be at increased risk for synovial infection by C. pneumoniae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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