Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disorder that causes significant morbidity. Genetic factors contribute to sarcoidosis risks. In this study, we investigated whether copy number variations (CNVs) of FCGR3A (coding for FcγRIIIA) and FCGR3B (coding for FcγRIIIB) genes are associated with sarcoidosis susceptibility and whether the expressions of FcγRIIIA on NK cells and FcγRIIIB on neutrophils are altered in sarcoidosis patients. TaqMan real-time PCR assays were used to analyze the CNV of FCGR3A and FCGR3B genes. FCGR3A and FCGR3B CNV genotypes were compared between 671 biopsy-proven sarcoidosis patients and the same number of healthy controls matched with age, sex, race, and geographic area from the ACCESS (A Case Control Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis) cohort. Flow cytometry analyses were used to determine expressions of FcγRIIIA on NK cells and FcγRIIIB on neutrophils in phenotype analyses. We found that FCGR3A CNVs were significantly associated with sarcoidosis in females (CN = 1 vs. CN = 2 logistic regression adjusted for sex and race, OR 4.0156, SE = 2.2784, P = 0.0143; CN = 3 vs. CN = 2 logistic regression adjusted for sex and race, OR 2.8044, SE = 1.1065, P = 0.0090), suggesting that FCGR3A gene abnormality influences sarcoidosis development in a gender-specific manner. Furthermore, FcγRIIIA expressions were significantly decreased on NK cells from sarcoidosis patients compared to those from healthy controls (P = 0.0007). Additionally, low FCGR3B CN was associated with sarcoidosis (CN <2 vs. CN = 2 logistic regression adjusted for sex and race, OR 1.5025, SE = 0.2682, P = 0.0226), indicating that the functions of FCGR3B gene may also contribute to the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis. We conclude that FCGR3A CNVs are a major risk factor for female sarcoidosis and FCGR3B CNVs may also affect the development of sarcoidosis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This manuscript was prepared using ACCESS Research Materials obtained from the NHLBI Biologic Specimen and Data Repository Information Coordinating Center and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the ACCESS or the NHLBI. We greatly appreciate Memorial Blood Center in Saint Paul for donor recruitment and sample collection. This study was partly supported by National Institute of Health grant HL117652 (Wu) and a grant from University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (Wu). The funders had no role in study design data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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