OBJECTIVE: More than 80% of autoimmune disease is female dominant, but the mechanism for this female bias is poorly understood. We suspected an X chromosome dose effect and hypothesized that trisomy X (47,XXX, 1 in ∼1,000 live female births) would be increased in female predominant diseases (e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE], primary Sjögren's syndrome [SS], primary biliary cirrhosis [PBC] and rheumatoid arthritis [RA]) compared to diseases without female predominance (sarcoidosis) and controls.
METHODS: We identified 47,XXX subjects using aggregate data from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and confirmed, when possible, by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) or quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR).
RESULTS: We found 47,XXX in seven of 2,826 SLE and three of 1,033 SS female patients, but only in two of the 7,074 female controls (p=0.003, OR=8.78, 95% CI: 1.67-86.79 and p=0.02, OR=10.29, 95% CI: 1.18-123.47; respectively). One 47,XXX subject was present for ∼404 SLE women and ∼344 SS women. 47,XXX was present in excess among SLE and SS subjects.
CONCLUSION: The estimated prevalence of SLE and SS in women with 47,XXX was respectively ∼2.5 and ∼2.9 times higher than in 46,XX women and ∼25 and ∼41 times higher than in 46,XY men. No statistically significant increase of 47,XXX was observed in other female-biased diseases (PBC or RA), supporting the idea of multiple pathways to sex bias in autoimmunity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.