Although the etiology of sarcoidosis is unknown, genetic susceptibility has been demonstrated. Granuloma formation is a key feature in the pathophysiology of sarcoidosis and Crohn's Disease, raising the possibility that these diseases share common pathogenetic pathways. An association between sarcoidosis and the protein "CD14", a molecule that is part of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) cell surface receptor complex, has been suggested. In the current study we evaluated the CD14 gene promoter 159 C → T polymorphic site and soluble CD14 levels in a cohort of 74 sarcoidosis patients compared to 85 healthy controls. We further sought to identify correlations between clinical phenotype, specific genotypes and soluble CD14 levels. We found the TT genotype to be more prevalent in the sarcoidosis patient group than in controls (p = 0.03). Serum levels of soluble CD14 were higher in the sarcoidosis patients (p = 0.001). Within the patient cohort, CC homozygous patients presented at an older age with milder disease as assessed with the SAC score, longer time to diagnosis, and less impairment of pulmonary function tests. Our study suggests a role of CD14 in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis, and a clinical phenotype-genotype association. Further mechanistic and epidemiologic studies are needed in order to establish the specific role of CD14 in the etiology, pathogenesis and clinical phenotype of sarcoidosis.
- Genotype-phenotype association