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Summary

Background

IgE plays a important role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A recent study identified the high-affinity IgE receptor α-chain (FcεRIα) gene FCER1A as a susceptibility locus influencing total serum IgE levels.

Aim

To investigate whether the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2298804 (251 A>G) of FCER1A is associated with SLE and its clinical characteristics in a Chinese Han population.

Methods

This case–control study enrolled 948 patients with SLE and 976 healthy controls. Precise phenotyping of patients was accomplished by means of a questionnaire and clinical examination. rs2298804 was genotyped using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR.

Results

Compared with the healthy controls, patients with SLE had much lower frequencies of the AG genotype (OR = 0.26; 95% CI 0.194–0.374; << 0.001) and G allele (OR = 0.45; 95% CI 0.36–0.55; << 0.001). We also found a stronger association of the FCER1A exon SNP, rs2298804 (A/G), in females (OR = 0.42; 95%CI 0.34–0.53; << 0.001) compared with males (OR = 0.52; 95% CI 0.28–0.97; < 0.04). G-allele carriers are less likely to develop SLE than A-allele carriers. Although we did not find any significant correlation between the rs2298804 and the incidence of lupus nephritis, rs2298804 seemed to protect against proteinunia, fever and hypocomplementaemia in patients with SLE, but appeared to be a risk factor for photosensitivity and vasculitis.

Conclusions

We found that rs2298804 seemed to have a protective effect against SLE in Chinese patients, especially women. It also protected against proteinunia, fever and hypocomplementaemia, but was a risk factor for photosensitivity and vasculitis.