Pharmacogenetic polymorphisms contributing to toxicity induced by methotrexate in the southern Spanish population with rheumatoid arthritis.
Abstract Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common illness of global significance for public health. Methotrexate (MTX) is the most broadly used disease-modifying antirheumatic drug for the treatment of RA, but it displays marked person-to-person variation in its propensity for toxicity. Several studies have suggested that polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and A1298C, reduced folate carrier (RFC1) G80A, and ABCB1 C3435T, could be related to methotrexate toxicity. This prospective study examined the different frequencies of MTHFR, RFC1, and ABCB1 pharmacogenetic variations between patients who have RA and those without RA. We also sought to assess the association between these polymorphisms and MTX toxicity. Four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped: C677T and A1298C from MTHFR, G80A from RFC1, and C3435T from ABCB1. The efficacy and toxicity of MTX were evaluated through clinical follow-up during 1 year of treatment. RA patients showed a higher frequency of the T allele at MTHFR C677T than patients without RA (p=0.049). There was a significant association between the presence of both the T allele at MTHFR C677T (p=0.006), and the C allele at ABCB1 C3435T (p=0.046), with toxicity development after 12 months of MTX treatment. However, there was no correlation between MTX toxicity and either the A allele at MTHFR A1298C or the G allele at RFC1 A80G. These data suggest that the presence of the MTHFR C677T and ABCB1 C3435T SNPs contribute to MTX toxicity in patients with RA. These observations contribute to a rapidly-growing knowledge base on the pharmacogenetics of RA and personalized medicine.