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OBJECTIVE: To test for association of T cell receptor (TCR) V alpha polymorphisms and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in British and Swiss white populations. METHODS: TCRAV polymorphisms were analysed in RA patients and controls by single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Associations were sought between defined genotypes and RA, and the effect of HLA-DR4 status analysed. Putative associations were then retested further in new groups of patients and controls. Overall, 360 RA patients and 197 controls were studied. RESULTS: No association between TCRAV5S1, V6S1, V8S1, V17S1 or V21S1 polymorphisms and RA were observed in the initial population screened. Stratification for DR4 status showed an increase of V5S1*01/*01 in DR4 positive versus DR4 negative patients (chi 2 = 7.19, p = 0.028 (2df), p = 0.14 after correction for multiple comparisons). This putative association was tested in three further patient groups, none of which showed significant increase of V5S1*01/*01 in DR4 positive patients, although an overall trend towards an increase in V5S1*01/*01 was observed. CONCLUSION: No evidence was found for a strong association of TCRAV genes and RA in a white population. However, these results suggest a weak association of V5S1*01/*01 with DR4 positive RA, although this requires confirmation using larger groups of patients and controls.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Rheum Dis

Publication Date





49 - 51


Arthritis, Rheumatoid, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Genes, T-Cell Receptor alpha, Genotype, HLA-DR4 Antigen, Humans, Male, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Polymorphism, Genetic, Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational, Switzerland, United Kingdom