Hysterectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in United States, and currently, one in three women in United States has had a hysterectomy by the age of 60 years. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a common autoimmune disease and especially targets women of childbearing age at least 10 times higher than men, which reflects the major role of female sex hormones. In this retrospective study, we evaluate the potential effects of previous hysterectomy in our lupus cohort.Data collected fromstudy subject questionnaires were obtained fromthe Lupus Family Registry and Repository (LFRR) at the OklahomaMedical Research Foundation. Hysterectomy data were available from 3389 subjects. SLE patients with a positive history of hysterectomy have been selected and compared with matched lupus patients with a negative history of hysterectomy and healthy controls. Association analyses were performed, and the P values and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were calculated. SLE patients with a negative history of hysterectomy more likely had kidney nephritis or positive anti-dsDNA than age-matched SLE patients with a history of hysterectomy before disease onset. This effect was independent of ethnicity with an OR of 6.66 (95% CI = 3.09–14.38, P = 1.00 × 10−8) in European patients and 2.74 (95% CI = 1.43–5.25, P = 0.001) in African-Americans. SLE patients with a positive history of hysterectomy before disease onset also had a later age of disease onset (P = 0.0001) after adjustment for age and race. Our findings support the notion that the influence of female sex hormones in SLE and various clinical findings are tremendous and that surgical menopause such as this could significantly affect the outcome of disease and clinical manifestations
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is more common among women than men with a ratio of about 10 to 1. We undertook this study to describe familial male SLE within a large cohort of familial SLE. SLE families (two or more patients) were obtained from the Lupus Multiplex Registry and Repository. Genomic DNA and blood samples were obtained using standard methods. Autoantibodies were determined by multiple methods. Medical records were abstracted for SLE clinical data. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed with X and Y centromere specific probes, and a probe specific for the toll-like receptor 7 gene on the X chromosome. Among 523 SLE families, we found five families in which all the SLE patients were male. FISH found no yaa gene equivalent in these families. SLE-unaffected primary female relatives from the five families with only-male SLE patients had a statistically increased rate of positive ANA compared to SLE-unaffected female relatives in other families. White men with SLE were 5 times more likely to have an offspring with SLE than were White women with SLE but there was no difference in this likelihood among Black men. These data suggest genetic susceptibility factors that act only in men.
Systemic lupus erythematosus; men; autoantibodies; genetics
Family-based research in genetically isolated populations is an effective approach for identifying loci influencing variation in disease traits. In common with all studies in humans, those in genetically isolated populations need ethical approval; however, existing ethical frameworks may be inadequate to protect participant privacy and confidentiality and to address participants' information needs in such populations. Using the ethical–legal guidelines of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) as a template, we compared the participant information leaflets and consent forms of studies in five European genetically isolated populations to identify additional information that should be incorporated into information leaflets and consent forms to guarantee satisfactorily informed consent. We highlight the additional information that participants require on the research purpose and the reasons why their population was chosen; on the potential risks and benefits of participation; on the opportunities for benefit sharing; on privacy; on the withdrawal of consent and on the disclosure of genetic data. This research raises some important issues that should be addressed properly and identifies relevant types of information that should be incorporated into information leaflets for this type of study.
informed consent; isolates; participation; EUROSPAN; information leaflets; ethics
A Support Vector Machine (SVM) is a popular tool for decision support. The traditional way to build an SVM model is to estimate parameters based on a centralized repository of data. However, in the field of biomedicine, patient data are sometimes stored in local repositories or institutions where they were collected, and may not be easily shared due to privacy concerns. This creates a substantial barrier for researchers to effectively learn from the distributed data using machine learning tools like SVMs. To overcome this difficulty and promote efficient information exchange without sharing sensitive raw data, we developed a Distributed Privacy Preserving Support Vector Machine (DPP-SVM). The DPP-SVM enables privacy-preserving collaborative learning, in which a trusted server integrates “privacy-insensitive” intermediary results. The globally learned model is guaranteed to be exactly the same as learned from combined data. We also provide a free web-service (http://privacy.ucsd.edu:8080/ppsvm/) for multiple participants to collaborate and complete the SVM-learning task in an efficient and privacy-preserving manner.
In pediatric environmental health research, information about family members is often directly sought or indirectly obtained in the process of identifying child risk factors and helping to tease apart and identify interactions between genetic and environmental factors. However, federal regulations governing human subjects research do not directly address ethical issues associated with protections for family members who are not identified as the primary “research participant.” Ethical concerns related to family consent and privacy become paramount as pediatric environmental health research increasingly turns to questions of gene–environment interactions.
In this article I identify issues arising from and potential solutions for the privacy and informed consent challenges of pediatric environmental health research intended to adequately protect the rights and welfare of children, family members, and communities.
I first discuss family members as secondary research participants and then the specific ethical challenges of longitudinal research on late-onset environmental effects and gene–environment interactions. I conclude with a discussion of the confidentiality and social risks of recruitment and data collection of research conducted within small or unique communities, ethnic minority populations, and low-income families.
The responsible conduct of pediatric environmental health research must be conceptualized as a goodness of fit between the specific research context and the unique characteristics of subjects and other family stakeholders.
communities; confidentiality; culture; environmental health; ethics; families; genetic determinants; informed consent; pediatric research; prenatal testing; privacy
Our research objective was to estimate prostate cancer risk in systemic lupus (SLE), relative to the age-matched general population. A progressive literature review was performed to identify SLE cohort studies with cancer registry linkage for cancer ascertainment. Data were pooled from four studies of large SLE cohorts who met these criteria. The total number of prostate cancers observed was derived by pooling the incident cases across all studies. The total expected number of prostate, derived from applying appropriate general population cancer incidence data to the observed number of patient-years of follow-up for each study, was similarly determined. The parameter of interest was the standardized incidence ratio (SIR), the ratio of observed to expected malignancies.
The four studies together provided a pool of 6,068 male SLE patients observed for a total of 38,186 patient years (mean 6.3 years). Within these subjects, 80 prostate cancers observed. In each contributing study, the number of cancers expected far exceeded that observed. The pooled SIR estimate for prostate cancer risk in males with SLE, compared to the general population, was 0.72 (95% CI 0.57, 0.89).
These data suggest a decreased risk of prostate cancer in SLE; more definite conclusions require additional data. Since alterations in androgen pathways can potentially alter prostate risk, a lower risk of prostate cancer in SLE could possibly be due to low hypoadrenergic states which some believe may occur in men with SLE; underlying genetic factors could also be at play. Further study of these issues in large cohorts is needed.
Systemic lupus erythematosus; malignancy; prostate cancer
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) may contribute to increased cardiovascular risk in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We aimed to examine the association of demographic factors, lupus phenotype and therapy exposure with the presence of MetS.
The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Registry for Atherosclerosis inception cohort enrolled recently diagnosed (<15 months) SLE patients from 30 centres across 11 countries from 2000. Clinical, laboratory and therapeutic data were collected according to a standardised protocol. MetS was defined according to the 2009 consensus statement from the International Diabetes Federation. Univariate and backward stepwise multivariate logistic regression were used to assess the relationship of individual variables with MetS.
We studied 1686 patients, of whom 1494 (86.6%) had sufficient data to determine their MetS status. The mean (SD) age at enrolment and disease duration was 35.2 years (13.4) and 24.1 weeks (18.0), respectively. MetS was present at the enrolment visit in 239 (16%). In backward stepwise multivariable regression analysis, higher daily average prednisolone dose (mg) (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.03), older age (years) (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.06), Korean (OR 6.33, 95% CI 3.68 to 10.86) and Hispanic (OR 6.2, 95% CI 3.78 to 10.12) ethnicity, current renal disease (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.80) and immunosuppressant use (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.78) were associated with MetS.
Renal lupus, higher corticosteroid doses, Korean and Hispanic ethnicity are associated with MetS in SLE patients. Balancing disease control and minimising corticosteroid exposure should therefore be at the forefront of personalised treatment decisions in SLE patients.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Cardiovascular Disease; Inflammation; Epidemiology
The contribution to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) of three lupus-associated polymorphisms (involving the C4A2 complement component, Humhv3005 and the T cell antigen receptor alpha chain gene) are investigated in 81 individuals from 14 multiplex SLE families, 41 unrelated lupus patients, and 88 unrelated healthy controls. The results show a strong association between C4A deletion and SLE in these families. While the current study confirms the previously reported association between hv3005 deletion and sporadic SLE, the study fails to support this association in familial SLE patients. Moreover, no correlation is detected between the occurrence of hv3005 deletion and C4A null alleles in lupus patients, suggesting that the effects of these genetic polymorphisms on predisposition to lupus are independent. The previously reported lupus-associated T cell receptor (TCR) alpha chain polymorphism is not detected in any of the individuals studied here. The combined data suggest that C4A null alleles predispose strongly to development of lupus, whereas the influence of hv3005 deletion is relatively weak. The results also suggest that contributions of weak susceptibility genes such as hv3005 to disease predisposition may be obscured by the effects of stronger genetic factors and thus need to be examined in patients lacking these factors.
Objective: To examine the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to disease occurrence in 26 families with two or more members affected with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: Genetic and environmental factors were examined by HLA-A, B, C/DR typing and by determining the presence of lymphocytotoxic antibodies (LCA) in patients and their consanguineous and non-consanguineous relatives.
Results: No association between SLE and HLA-A, B, C antigens was found. There was, however, a significant association with HLA-DR2 in white subjects with SLE. The most striking finding was that HLA sharing was increased among the affected members, suggesting genetic similarities. Seven of 14 sib pairs (50%) who had concordant SLE were HLA identical as opposed to an expected 25%. Another interesting finding was that 15/18 (83%) patients with SLE and 11/22 (50%) consanguineous relatives had LCA, while 1/9 (11%) spouses, and 2/42 (5%) healthy controls had these antibodies.
Conclusion: Genetic factors have a role in the development and expression of SLE. Environmental factors may trigger the disease in genetically susceptible hosts.
Women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have premature and accelerated atherosclerosis. Although percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is utilized frequently to treat coronary artery disease (CAD) in SLE, little is known regarding PCI outcomes immediately post-PCI and after discharge.
Methods and Results
Baseline demographic, procedure-related and adverse outcome data on consecutive patients undergoing PCI during 5 recruitment “waves” of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Dynamic Registry across 23 clinical centers were collected. SLE patients (n= 28) were compared to nonSLE patients (n=3385). SLE patients were younger and more often female in comparison to nonSLE patients undergoing PCI. SLE patients were less likely than nonSLE patients to have hyperlipidemia, but had a similar prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and tobacco use. The prevalence of multi-vessel disease was similar between groups. Initial intervention success (by angiographic definition) was not significantly different between groups. At one year, SLE patients were more likely to suffer a myocardial infarction (MI) (15.6% vs. 4.8%, p=0.01), and more often required repeat PCI (31.3% vs. 11.8%, p=0.009) than nonSLE patients, even following adjustment for important covariates.
SLE patients had significantly worse CV outcomes at one year than nonSLE patients. Even considering the small number of SLE patients, these differences were striking. Further study is warranted to explore other factors potentially accounting for this disparity, including SLE disease activity and duration, presence of hypercoagulable state, and immunosuppressive therapy.
angioplasty; catheterization; restenosis; revascularization; systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a genetically complex disease with heterogeneous clinical manifestations. A polymorphism in the STAT4 gene has recently been established as a risk factor for SLE, but the relationship with specific SLE subphenotypes has not been studied. We studied 137 SNPs in the STAT4 region genotyped in 4 independent SLE case series (total n = 1398) and 2560 healthy controls, along with clinical data for the cases. Using conditional testing, we confirmed the most significant STAT4 haplotype for SLE risk. We then studied a SNP marking this haplotype for association with specific SLE subphenotypes, including autoantibody production, nephritis, arthritis, mucocutaneous manifestations, and age at diagnosis. To prevent possible type-I errors from population stratification, we reanalyzed the data using a subset of subjects determined to be most homogeneous based on principal components analysis of genome-wide data. We confirmed that four SNPs in very high LD (r2 = 0.94 to 0.99) were most strongly associated with SLE, and there was no compelling evidence for additional SLE risk loci in the STAT4 region. SNP rs7574865 marking this haplotype had a minor allele frequency (MAF) = 31.1% in SLE cases compared with 22.5% in controls (OR = 1.56, p = 10−16). This SNP was more strongly associated with SLE characterized by double-stranded DNA autoantibodies (MAF = 35.1%, OR = 1.86, p<10−19), nephritis (MAF = 34.3%, OR = 1.80, p<10−11), and age at diagnosis<30 years (MAF = 33.8%, OR = 1.77, p<10−13). An association with severe nephritis was even more striking (MAF = 39.2%, OR = 2.35, p<10−4 in the homogeneous subset of subjects). In contrast, STAT4 was less strongly associated with oral ulcers, a manifestation associated with milder disease. We conclude that this common polymorphism of STAT4 contributes to the phenotypic heterogeneity of SLE, predisposing specifically to more severe disease.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic disabling autoimmune disease, most commonly striking women in their thirties or forties. It can cause a wide variety of clinical manifestations, including kidney disease, arthritis, and skin disorders. Prognosis varies greatly depending on these clinical features, with kidney disease and related characteristics leading to greater morbidity and mortality. It is also complex genetically; while lupus runs in families, genes increase one’s risk for lupus but do not fully determine the outcome. It is thought that the interactions of multiple genes and/or interactions between genes and environmental factors may cause lupus, but the causes and disease pathways of this very heterogeneous disease are not well understood. By examining relationships between subtypes of lupus and specific genes, we hope to better understand how lupus is triggered and by what biological pathways it progresses. We show in this work that the STAT4 gene, very recently identified as a lupus risk gene, predisposes specifically to severe manifestations of lupus, including kidney disease.
Genetic susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is well established, with the HLA class II DRB1 and DQB1 loci demonstrating the strongest association. However, HLA may also influence SLE through novel biologic mechanisms in addition to genetic transmission of risk alleles. Evidence for increased maternal–offspring HLA class II compatibility in SLE and differences in maternal versus paternal transmission rates (parent-of-origin effects) and nontransmission rates (noninherited maternal antigen [NIMA] effects) in other autoimmune diseases have been reported. Thus, we investigated maternal–offspring HLA compatibility, parent-of-origin effects, and NIMA effects at DRB1 in SLE.
The cohort comprised 707 SLE families and 188 independent healthy maternal–offspring pairs (total of 2,497 individuals). Family-based association tests were conducted to compare transmitted versus nontransmitted alleles (transmission disequilibrium test) and both maternally versus paternally transmitted (parent-of-origin) and nontransmitted alleles (using the chi-square test of heterogeneity). Analyses were stratified according to the sex of the offspring. Maternally affected offspring DRB1 compatibility in SLE families was compared with paternally affected offspring compatibility and with independent control maternal–offspring pairs (using Fisher’s test) and was restricted to male and nulligravid female offspring with SLE.
As expected, DRB1 was associated with SLE (P < 1 × 10−4). However, mothers of children with SLE had similar transmission and nontransmission frequencies for DRB1 alleles when compared with fathers, including those for the known SLE risk alleles HLA–DRB1*0301, *1501, and *0801. No association between maternal–offspring compatibility and SLE was observed.
Maternal–offspring HLA compatibility, parent-of-origin effects, and NIMA effects at DRB1 are unlikely to play a role in SLE.
Objectives To describe the views of the British public on the use of personal medical data by the National Cancer Registry without individual consent, and to assess the relative importance attached by the public to personal privacy in relation to public health uses of identifiable health data.
Design Cross sectional, face to face interview survey.
Setting England, Wales, and Scotland.
Participants 2872 respondents, 97% of those who took part in the Office for National Statistics' omnibus survey, a national multistage probability sample, in March and April 2005 (response rates 62% and 69%, respectively).
Results 72% (95% confidence interval 70% to 74%) of all respondents did not consider any of the following to be an invasion of their privacy by the National Cancer Registry: inclusion of postcode, inclusion of name and address, and the receipt of a letter inviting them to a research study on the basis of inclusion in the registry. Only 2% (2% to 3%) of the sample considered all of these to amount to an invasion of privacy. Logistic regression analysis showed that the proportions not concerned about invasion of privacy varied significantly by country, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and housing tenure, although in all subgroups examined most respondents had no concerns. 81% (79% to 83%) of all respondents said that they would support a law making cancer registration statutory.
Conclusions Most of the British public considers the confidential use of personal, identifiable patient information by the National Cancer Registry for the purposes of public health research and surveillance not to be an invasion of privacy.
Disparities in health outcomes occur in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) especially in economically disadvantaged populations. At the 9th International Congress on SLE, June 24–27, 2010, held in Vancouver, British Columbia, a symposium “Narrowing the Gap in the Treatment and Study of SLE worldwide” was held. Participating physicians from the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, Portugal, Africa and impoverished areas of the United States detailed their constraints and desires. These were remarkably consistent. Out of these discussions, a statement on minimum best practice was put forth aimed at the cost-effective management of SLE focusing on the critical factors that make a difference and are feasible even in the most challenging environments. Approaches to designing studies and establishing research and mentoring collaborations was also discussed. The ultimate aim was to provide an avenue for the improvement of care and outcomes for patients with SLE worldwide.
SLE; Best practice; Health disparities; Rheumatology
Evidence is steadily accumulating that a preventable environmental hazard, child maltreatment, exerts causal influences on the development of long-standing patterns of antisocial behavior in humans. The relationship between child maltreatment and antisocial outcome, however, has never previously been tested in a large-scale study in which official-reports (rather than family-member reports) of child abuse and neglect were incorporated, and genetic influences comprehensively controlled for.
We cross-referenced official-report data on child maltreatment from the Missouri Division of Social Services (DSS) with behavioral data from 4,432 epidemiologically-ascertained Missouri twins from the Missouri Twin Registry (MOTWIN). We performed a similar procedure for a clinically-ascertained sample of singleton children ascertained from families affected by alcohol dependence participating in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA, n=428) in order to determine whether associations observed in the general population held true in an “enriched” sample at combined inherited and environmental risk for antisocial development.
For both the twin and clinical samples, additive effects (not interactive effects) of maltreatment and inherited liability on antisocial development were confirmed, and were highly statistically significant.
Child maltreatment exhibited causal influence on antisocial outcome when controlling for inherited liability in both the general population and in a clinically-ascertained sample. Official-report maltreatment data represents a critical resource for resolving competing hypotheses on genetic and environmental causation of child psychopathology, and for assessing intervention outcomes in efforts to prevent antisocial development
Conduct Disorder; genetics; child abuse; administrative data; externalizing behavior
Anti–heat shock protein 60 autoantibodies (anti-Hsp60) are associated with cardiovascular disease and are known to affect endothelial cells in vitro, and we have recently shown that anti-Hsp60 promote thrombosis in a murine model of arterial injury. Based on those findings, we undertook the present study to investigate the hypothesis that the presence of anti-Hsp60, alone or in combination with other thrombogenic risk factors, is associated with an elevated risk of vascular events.
The study population was derived from 3 ongoing cohort studies: 2 independent systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) registries and 1 cohort comprising SLE patients and non-SLE patients. Data from a total of 402 participants were captured; 199 of these participants had had confirmed vascular events (arterial vascular events in 102, venous vascular events in 76, and both arterial and venous vascular events in 21). Anti-Hsp60 were detected by enzyme-linked immunoassay, and association with vascular events was assessed by regression analysis.
Multiple regression analysis revealed that arterial vascular events were associated with male sex, age, and hypertension. Analyses of the vascular events according to their origin showed an association of anti-Hsp60 with arterial vascular events (odds ratio 2.26 [95% confidence interval 1.13–4.52]), but not with venous vascular events. Anti-Hsp60 increased the risk of arterial vascular events (odds ratio 5.54 [95% confidence interval 1.89–16.25]) in antiphospholipid antibody (aPL)–positive, but not aPL-negative, individuals.
We demonstrate that anti-Hsp60 are associated with an increased risk of arterial vascular events, but not venous vascular events, in aPL-positive individuals. These data suggest that anti-Hsp60 may serve as a useful biomarker to distinguish risk of arterial and venous vascular events in patients with aPL.
PMID: 21506099 CAMSID: cams2354
Polymorphisms in the SLAM family of leukocyte cell surface regulatory molecules have been associated with lupus-like phenotypes in both humans and mice. The murine Slamf gene cluster lies within the lupus-associated Sle1b region of mouse chromosome 1. Non-autoreactive C57BL/6 (B6) mice that have had this region replaced by syntenic segments from other mouse strains (i.e. 129, NZB and NZW) are B6 congenic strains that spontaneously produce non-nephritogenic lupus-like autoantibodies. We have recently reported that genetic ablation of the SLAM family member CD48 (Slamf2) drives full-blown autoimmune disease with severe proliferative glomerulonephritis (CD48GN) in B6 mice carrying 129 sequences of the Sle1b region (B6.129CD48-/-). We also discovered that BALB/c mice with the same 129-derived CD48-null allele (BALB.129CD48-/-) have neither nephritis nor anti-DNA autoantibodies, indicating that strain specific background genes modulate the effects of CD48 deficiency. Here we further examine this novel model of lupus nephritis in which CD48 deficiency transforms benign autoreactivity into fatal nephritis. CD48GN is characterized by glomerular hypertrophy with mesangial expansion, proliferation and leukocytic infiltration. Immune complexes deposit in mesangium and in sub-endothelial, sub-epithelial and intramembranous sites along the glomerular basement membrane. Afflicted mice have low grade proteinuria, intermittent hematuria and their progressive renal injury manifests with elevated urine NGAL levels and with uremia. In contrast to the lupus-like B6.129CD48-/- animals, neither BALB.129CD48-/- mice nor B6 × BALB/c F1.129CD48-/- progeny have autoimmune traits, indicating that B6-specific background genes modulate the effect of CD48 on lupus nephritis in a recessive manner.
CD48(Slamf2); lupus nephritis; anti-DNA autoantibodies; systemic lupus erythematosus; murine lupus; Sle1b
Purpose. This study evaluates high-throughput autoantibody screening and determines associated systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) clinical features in a large lupus cohort. Methods. Clinical and demographic information, along with serum samples, were obtained from each SLE study participant after appropriate informed consent. Serum samples were screened for 10 distinct SLE autoantibody specificities and examined for association with SLE ACR criteria and subcriteria using conditional logistic regression analysis. Results. In European-American SLE patients, autoantibodies against 52 kD Ro and RNP 68 are independently enriched in patients with lymphopenia, anti-La, and anti-ribosomal P are increased in patients with malar rash, and anti-dsDNA and anti-Sm are enriched in patients with proteinuria. In African-American SLE patients, cellular casts associate with autoantibodies against dsDNA, Sm, and Sm/nRNP. Conclusion. Using a high-throughput, bead-based method of autoantibody detection, anti-dsDNA is significantly enriched in patienets with SLE ACR renal criteria as has been previously described. However, lymphopenia is associated with several distinct autoantibody specificities. These findings offer meaningful information to allow clinicians and clinical investigators to understand which autoantibodies correlate with select SLE clinical manifestations across common racial groups using this novel methodology which is expanding in clinical use.
To increase the awareness among at risk relatives of the availability of genetic testing for a familial disorder while respecting their autonomy and privacy.
This was a comparison of preintervention and postintervention cohorts of families carried out in a state wide clinical service providing genetic counselling and testing for people at risk of familial adult onset cancer. Unaffected relatives who were not clients of the service in 74 kindreds with familial mutations causing familial breast and ovarian cancer, hereditary non‐polyposis colorectal cancer, or Cowden syndrome were included in the study. In the baseline cohort (41 kindreds), family members who were clients of the clinical service and had been shown to be carriers of mutations were asked to advise relatives that genetic testing was available. In the intervention cohort (33 kindreds), the clinical service obtained consent to advise at risk relatives by letter that genetic testing was available. The main outcome measures were: (a) proportion of unaffected first and second degree relatives of the proband in each family whose genetic status was clarified within 2 years of the mutation being identified in the family, and (b) concerns regarding privacy and autonomy voiced by relatives receiving these letters.
In the baseline cohort, the average proportion of relatives in each family whose genetic status was clarified was 23%. In the intervention cohort, the average proportion of relatives in each family whose genetic status was clarified was 40% (p = 0.001). None of the relatives in the intervention cohort complained of a breach of privacy or autonomy.
Clinical services can take an effective and proactive approach to notifying relatives who are not their clients of the availability of genetic testing without compromising principles of privacy and autonomy.
ethics; privacy; risk notification; genetic testing
Autoimmune thyroid disease is common in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). About 20% of patients with SLE have secondary Sjögren's syndrome.
Families with more than one patient with SLE were identified. All patients met the revised classification criteria, although SLE‐unaffected relatives were confirmed not to satisfy these criteria. Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease and Sjögren's syndrome was made on the basis of a review of medical records, interview and questionnaire administered to patients with SLE, and by a questionnaire administered to SLE‐unaffected subjects.
Of a total of 1138 patients with SLE, 169 had a diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome. Of these 50 (29.6%) patients also had autoimmune thyroid disease. Of the 939 patients with SLE with no diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, 119 (12.7%) had autoimmune thyroid disease (χ2 = 20.1, p = 0.000009). There was no association of a diagnosis of hypertension with secondary Sjögren's syndrome (42% vss 47%). Among 2291 SLE‐unaffected relatives, 44 had diagnosed primary Sjögren's syndrome and 16 (36.3%) of these also had autoimmune thyroid disease. 265 of 2247 (11.8%) subjects had autoimmune thyroid disease but no Sjögren's syndrome (χ2 = 24.2, p<0.001).
Autoimmune thyroid disease is found in excess among patients with SLE with a diagnosis of secondary Sjögren's syndrome, as well as among their SLE‐unaffected relatives with a diagnosis of primary Sjögren's syndrome.
The pattern of inheritance of autoantibodies in eight families chosen from a pool of 110 families of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is described. In all the eight families at least two members were already affected by SLE. In total, 19 patients and 43 first degree relatives were examined. The inheritance of a large set of antinuclear antibodies (for example, DNA, Sm, RNP, Ro, La, histones) and 16/6 idiotype seemed to be related to some unknown genetic factors but not related to HLA. The presence of numerous antinuclear autoantibodies in the serum of a subject was not necessarily associated with overt disease. The incidence of the 16/6 idiotype among patients and their relatives was low. It is not yet clear whether the 'autoantibody burden' is greater in families with multiple cases of SLE than in families with single cases.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by excessive production of a variety of autoantibodies and a wide range of clinical manifestations. Pathogenesis of SLE is complex and not fully understood. There is however evidence that B and T cells are critical to the development of disease, and that T cell-derived cytokines are involved in the SLE-associated inflammatory response. One such cytokine seems to be interleukin (IL)-21, the latest identified member of the γ-chain-related cytokine family. IL-21 has an important role in the control of the growth, survival, differentiation, and function of both T and B cells, and excessive production of IL-21 has been associated with the development of multiple immune-mediated diseases. Here we review data supporting the involvement of IL-21 in the pathogenesis of SLE.
Functional polymorphisms of the solute carrier family 22, member 4 (SLC22A4), runt related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) and small ubiquitin‐like modifier 4 (SUMO4) genes have been shown to be associated with several autoimmune diseases.
To test the possible role of these variants in susceptibility to or severity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), on the basis that common genetic bases are shared by autoimmune disorders.
597 SLE patients and 987 healthy controls of white Spanish origin were studied. Two additional cohorts of 228 SLE patients from Sweden and 122 SLE patients from Colombia were included. A case–control association study was carried out with six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) spanning the SLC22A4 gene, one SNP in RUNX1 gene, and one additional SNP in SUM04 gene.
No significant differences were observed between SLE patients and healthy controls when comparing the distribution of the genotypes or alleles of any of the SLC22A4, RUNX1, or SUMO4 polymorphisms tested. Significant differences were found in the distribution of the SUMO4 genotypes and alleles among SLE patients with and without nephritis, but after multiple testing correction, the significance of the association was lost. The association of SUMO4 with nephritis could not be verified in two independent SLE cohorts from Sweden and Colombia.
These results suggest that the SLC22A4, RUNX1, and SUMO4 polymorphisms analysed do not play a role in the susceptibility to or severity of SLE.
systemic lupus erythematosus; nephritis;
Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is an enzyme expressed in neutrophils that is involved in tissue damage in inflammatory renal diseases. A functional G to A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is present at position −463 of the MPO promoter region and is associated with altered MPO expression. We hypothesized that the G-463A MPO SNP is a risk factor for developing lupus nephritis (LN) due to its potential influence on the inflammatory response.
DNA from 229 patients with SLE and 277 controls from the Carolina Lupus cohort, 58 African American patients from the Sea Island Lupus Cohort, and 51 African American patients from the Lupus Multiplex Registry and Repository were genotyped by PCR. A linear regression model was used to examine relationships between the MPO genotype, case/control status, demographic characteristics, and LN.
There was no association of MPO genotype with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the odds of developing LN were significantly higher among those with an A allele, compared to those without, in African American cases of all 3 cohorts. When the likelihood of developing LN was compared across MPO genotypes, the risk of developing LN was significantly higher among cases with a GA genotype versus GG (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.12 to 3.97) and even higher with AA versus GG (OR 3.52, 95% CI 1.41 to 8.77).
While the G-463A MPO SNP is not a risk factor for developing SLE, the low expressing A allele is a significant risk factor for developing LN that is gene dosage-dependent in African Americans. (First Release Sept 15 2007; J Rheumatol 2007;34:2028–34)
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS; AFRICAN AMERICAN; MYELOPEROXIDASE; POLYMORPHISM; LUPUS NEPHRITIS
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by a loss of tolerance to self-antigens and the production of high titers of serum autoantibodies. Lupus nephritis can affect up to 74% of SLE patients, particularly those of Hispanic and African ancestries, and remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality. A genetic etiology in SLE is now well substantiated. Thanks to extensive collaborations, extraordinary progress has been made in the last few years and the number of confirmed genes predisposing to SLE has catapulted to approximately 30. Studies of other forms of genetic variation, such as CNVs and epigenetic alterations, are emerging and promise to revolutionize our knowledge about disease mechanisms. However, to date little progress has been made on the identification of genetic factors specific to lupus nephritis. On the near horizon, two large-scale efforts, a collaborative meta-analysis of lupus nephritis based on all genome-wide association data in Caucasians and parallel scans in four other ethnicities, are poised to make fundamental discoveries in the genetics of lupus nephritis. Collectively, these findings will demonstrate that a broad array of pathways underlines the genetic heterogeneity of SLE and lupus nephritis, and provide potential avenues for the development of novel therapies.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE); genetics; lupus nephritis