Toll-like receptors (TLRs), as innate immunity sensors, play critical roles in immune responses. Six SNPs of TLR3, TLR7, and TLR8 were genotyped to determine their associations with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and clinical manifestations of SLE. TLR7 SNP rs3853839 was independently associated with SLE susceptibility in females (G vs. C: p = 0.0051). TLR7 rs3853839-G (G vs. C: p = 0.0100) and TLR8 rs3764880-G (recessive model: p = 0.0173; additive model: p = 0.0161) were associated with pericardial effusion in females relative to healthy females. Anti-SSA positive cases were more likely to have the dominant TLR7 rs179010-T allele than normal controls (p = 0.0435). TLR3 rs3775296-T was associated with photosensitivity (p = 0.0020) and anemia (p = 0.0082). The "G-G" haplotype of TLR7 rs3853839 and TLR8 rs3764880 increased risk of SLE in females (age adjusted p = 0.0032). These findings suggest that TLR variations that modify gene expression affect risk for SLE susceptibility, clinical phenotype development, and production of autoantibodies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We greatly appreciate the Shin Chu Blood Donor Center for providing samples. This work was supported by National Science Council, Taiwan, and CMRPG 391813 from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.