Background: The B-lymphocyte-activating factor (BAFF) is associated with B-cell functions, and gene polymorphisms of the BAFF have been linked to autoimmune diseases (AIDs). In this study, we explored possible associations of two BAFF single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs1041569 and rs2893321, with autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs) in an ethnic Chinese population. Material and Methods: In total, 319 Graves' disease (GD), 83 Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) patients, and 369 healthy controls were enrolled. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and direct sequencing were used to genotype rs2893321 and rs1041569. Results: There was a significant difference in frequencies of the G allele and AG+GG genotype of rs2893321 between the GD and control groups (p = 0.013, odds ratio (OR) = 0.76, and p = 0.017, OR = 0.68, respectively) and between the AITD and control groups (p = 0.009, OR = 0.76, and, p = 0.014, OR = 0.69, respectively). The AA genotype of rs2893321 was associated with low titers of the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TSHRAb) (p = 0.015)in males but not in females. The AA genotype of rs2893321 was associated with the presence of two different types of thyroid autoantibody (TAb) (TSHRAb and Hashimoto's autoantibody (anti-thyroglobulin or anti-microsomal antibody)) in females and with that of one type in males. Conclusions: rs2893321 may be a susceptible genetic variant for the development of GD and AITDs. Associations of rs2893321 with susceptibility to GD and AITDs and the correlation between rs2893321 and TAb exhibit a dimorphic pattern. Additional studies with larger sample sizes are required to confirm our findings.
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