Autoimmune thyroiditis (AITD) is a common disorder characterized by circulating antibodies to epitopes of thyroid tissue and hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis or AITD-hypothyroidism), although many subjects with AITD are euthyroid. Current evidence suggests that AITD is familial and polygenic. We studied AITD in a homogeneous founder Caucasian population, the Old Order Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. We found autoimmune thyroiditis, defined by the presence of circulating antimicrosomal antibodies, to be relatively common in the Amish, with a prevalence of 22.7%. The prevalence of AITD-hypothyroidism was 9.2%. We performed a genome-wide linkage analysis with 373 short tandem repeat markers in 445 subjects from 29 families. We observed suggestive evidence of linkage of AITD to a locus on chromosome 5q11.2-q14.3 (LOD, 2.30; P = 0.0006 at 94 cM; closest marker, D5S428), a region that was previously reported to be linked to AITD-hypothyroidism in a Japanese study. AITD-hypothyroidism showed a more modest linkage peak to the same region (LOD, 1.46; P = 0.005). Possible linkage (nominal P < 0.01) to autoimmune thyroiditis and/or AITD-hypothyroidism was also detected in five other regions. We conclude that a gene on chromosome 5q11.2-q14.3 is likely to contribute to susceptibility to AITD in the Amish.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical