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Open Access Case control study

Lack of association between estrogen receptor β dinucleotide repeat polymorphism and autoimmune thyroid diseases in Japanese patients

Yoshiyuki Ban1*, Teruaki Tozaki23, Matsuo Taniyama1, Motowo Tomita2 and Yoshio Ban1

Author Affiliations

1 Third Department of Internal Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan

2 Department of Physiological Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Showa University, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan

3 Department of Molecular Genetics, Laboratory of Racing Chemistry, 1731-2 Tsuruta-cho, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi-ken 320-0851, Japan

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BMC Medical Genetics 2001, 2:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-2-1

Published: 31 January 2001

Abstract

Background

The autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs), such as Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), appear to develop as a result of complex interactions between predisposing genes and environmental triggers. Susceptibility to AITDs is conferred by genes in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and genes unlinked to HLA, including the CTLA-4 gene. Recently, estrogen receptor (ER) β, located at human chromosome 14q23-24.1, was identifed. We analyzed a dinucleotide (CA)n repeat polymorphism located in the flanking region of ERβ gene in patients with AITDs and in normal subjects. High heterozygosity makes this polymorphism a useful marker in the genetic study of disorders affecting female endocrine systems. We also correlated a ERβ gene microsatellite polymorphism with bone mineral density (BMD) in the distal radius and biochemical markers of bone turnover in patients with GD in remission.

Results

Fourteen different alleles were found in 133 patients with GD, 114 patients with HT, and 179 controls subjects. The various alleles were designated as allele*1 through allele*14 according to the number of the repeats, from 18 to 30. There was no significant difference in the distributions of ERβ alleles between patient groups and controls. Although recent study demonstrated a significant relation between a allele*9 in the ERβ gene and BMD in postmenopausal Japanese women, there were no statistically significant interaction between this allele and BMD in the distal radius, nor biochemical markers in patients with GD in remission.

Conclusions

The present results do not support an association between the ERβ microsatellite marker and AITD in the Japanese population. We also suggest that the ERβ microsatellite polymorphism has at most a minor pathogenic importance in predicting the risk of osteoporosis as a complication of GD.