Analysis of a Chinese population suggests that the TNFB gene is not a susceptibility gene for Graves' disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • D A Cavan
  • M A Penny
  • D Jenkins
  • C C Chow
  • C S Cockram
  • B R Hawkins

Colleges, School and Institutes


Graves' disease is associated with different HLA genes in different races. The TNFB gene lies between the class I and class II HLA genes and has two alleles, TNFB*1 and TNFB*2. Studies in Caucasians have suggested that the TNFB gene might be a susceptibility gene for Graves' disease. To investigate further the role of TNFB in predisposition to Graves' disease, we determined whether the TNFB disease associations in the Chinese were similar to those in Caucasians. A total of 57 patients with Graves' disease (32 male) were studied. A TNFB gene fragment was amplified from genomic DNA by using the polymerase chain reaction and digested with Nco I to distinguish the TNFB alleles (TNFB*1 and TNFB*2). Genotype frequencies were compared with those in a racially matched group of 92 controls. TNFB*1 homozygosity occurred in 15 (26%) Graves' and 22 (24%) control subjects. TNFB*1/TNFB*2 heterozygosity occurred in 29 (51%) and 48 (52%) and TNFB*2 homozygosity in 13 (23%) and 22 (24%), respectively (NS). There were gender differences in the frequencies of TNFB*1 homozygosity (13 male [41%], 2 female [8%]). TNFB*1/TNFB*2 heterozygosity (13 male [41%], 16 female [64%]) (chi 2 = 7.3, p = 0.02), and TNFB*2 frequency (19 male [59%], 23 female [92%]; pc = 0.04) in Graves' patients. We conclude that the TNFB associations with Graves' disease in the Hong Kong Chinese differ between the genders and from those described in Caucasians. The TNFB gene is not a susceptibility gene for Graves' disease.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-7
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994