Background: This study was performed to determine the mRNA expression levels of limb-bud and heart (LBH) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and to assess the associations of LBH rs7579944 and rs906868 polymorphisms with RA in a Chinese population.
Methods: Real-time transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis was used to determine the LBH mRNA expression in PBMCs from 53 patients with RA and 58 healthy controls, and LBH rs7579944 and rs906868 polymorphisms were genotyped in 328 RA patients and 449 healthy controls.
Results: The LBH mRNA expression levels were significantly decreased in RA patients compared with healthy controls (p = 0.02). However, non-significant correlation between LBH mRNA expression in PBMCs and ESR (r = 0.14, p = 0.36), CRP (r = 0.17, p = 0.27) or DAS28-ESR (r = 0.23, p = 0.12) was found. There was no significant difference in neither genotype (p = 0.90) nor allele (p = 0.97) distribution of the LBH rs7579944 polymorphism between RA patients and healthy controls. The relationships between the major allele T of LBH rs7579944 polymorphism and the risk of RA under dominant and recessive model were examined, whereas non-significant evidence was found. Similarly, a non-significant signal was detected for the association of LBH rs906868 polymorphism with RA.
Conclusions: Decreased expression of LBH mRNA in PBMCs might contribute to the pathogenesis of RA.