Immunol Res. 2023 Sep 4. doi: 10.1007/s12026-023-09419-8. Online ahead of print.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an autoinflammatory disease that affects the sacroiliac joints, causing stiffness and pain in the back. MICA is a ligand of the NKG2D receptor, and an increase in its expression affects the immune response in various diseases. NLRP3 is a multiprotein complex that promotes the release of IL-1β, but its role in AS has been minimally explored. The objective of this study was to analyze the association and interaction of polymorphic variants of the MICA and NLRP3 genes in patients with AS. In this case-control study, patients with AS were included and compared with healthy controls of Mexican origin. The polymorphisms rs4349859 and rs116488202 of MICA and rs3806268 and rs10754558 of NLRP3 were genotyped using TaqMan probes. Associations were determined using logistic regression models, while interactions were analyzed by the multifactorial dimensionality reduction (MDR) method. A P value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The minor allele of rs4349859 (A) and rs116488202 (T) of MICA polymorphisms showed risk associations with AS (OR = 9.22, 95% CI = 4.26-20.0, P < 0.001; OR = 9.36, 95% CI = 4.17-21.0, P < 0.001), while the minor allele of the rs3806268 (A) polymorphism of NLRP3 was associated with protection (OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.33-0.91, P = 0.019). MDR analysis revealed synergistic interactions between the MICA and NLRP3 polymorphisms (P = 0.012). In addition, high- and low-risk genotypes were identified among these variants. The study findings suggest that the MICA rs4349859 A allele and rs116488202 T allele are associated with AS risk. An interaction between MICA and NLRP3 was observed which could increase the genetic risk in AS.