Graves' disease (GD) is a complex, organ-specific autoimmune disease wherein the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and overactive. During GD progression, T cells secrete interleukin-16 (IL-16) to promote inflammation, act as chemoattractants that recruit more inflammatory cells, and activate target cells to enhance the development of GD. To investigate the role of IL-16 in GD, we genotyped 474 patients with GD at 8 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL-16 gene. The IL-16 SNP rs8028364 was found to be associated with GD when compared with the control subjects (P = 2.93 × 10 -17 ; CG genotype: odds ratio [OR] = 0.2 [0.07, 0.59]; CC genotype: OR = 0.03 [0.01, 0.09]). The rs1131445 polymorphism was found to be associated with GD under the allelic model (P = 0.01; G allele: OR = 1.97 [1.17, 3.32]). Sliding-window haplotype analysis by the PLINK program showed that the most significant haplotype was provided by the 6-SNP haplotype window, consisting of rs7182786, rs8028364, rs12907134, rs4128767, rs4072111 and rs8031107 (P = 2.31 × 10 -51 ). We found 2 protective haplotypes: GCAAGG (P = 8.69 × 10 -7 ; OR = 0.22 [0.12, 0.41]) and AGAAGG (P = 0.0012; OR = 0.26 [0.12, 0.6]). In addition, GGGGAA (P = 0.39; OR = 2.32 [1.08, 4.99]) and GGGAGA (P = 1.18 × 10 -5 ; OR = 5.54 [2.50, 12.31]) were found to be the two high-risk haplotypes. These results suggest that polymorphisms in IL-16 may be used as genetic markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of GD.
- Graves' disease