Open Access Research article

A genetic association study between growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF 5) polymorphism and knee osteoarthritis in Thai population

Tulyapruek Tawonsawatruk1*, Theeraroj Changthong1, Sarinee Pingsuthiwong2, Objoon Trachoo2, Thanyachai Sura2 and Wiwat Wajanavisit1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

2 Division of Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:47  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-47

Published: 21 September 2011



Osteoarthritis (OA) is a multi-factorial disease and genetic factor is one of the important etiologic risk factors. Various genetic polymorphisms have been elucidated that they might be associated with OA. Recently, several studies have shown an association between Growth Differentiation Factor 5(GDF5) polymorphism and knee OA. However, the role of genetic predisposing factor in each ethnic group cannot be replicated to all, with conflicting data in the literatures. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between GDF5 polymorphism and knee OA in Thai population.

Materials and Methods

One hundred and ninety three patients aged 54-88 years who attended Ramathibodi Hospital were enrolled. Ninety cases with knee OA according to American College of Rheumatology criteria and one hundred and three cases in control group gave informed consent. Blood sample (5 ml) were collected for identification of GDF5 (rs143383) single nucleotide polymorphism by PCR/RFLP according to a standard protocol. This study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee on human experimentation of Ramathibodi Hospital Faculty of Medicine, Mahidol University. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the risk of knee OA by genotype (TT, TC and CC) and allele (T/C) analyses.


The baseline characteristics between two groups including job, smoking and activity were not different, except age and BMI. The entire cases and controls were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (p > 0.05). The OA knee group (n = 90) had genotypic figure which has shown by TT 42.2% (n = 38), TC 45.6% (n = 41) and CC 12% (n = 11), whereas the control group (n = 103) revealed TT 32% (n = 33), TC 45.6% (n = 47), and CC 22.3% (n = 23), respectively. Genotypic TT increased risk of knee OA as compared to CC [OR = 2.41 (P = 0.04, 95%CI = 1.02-5.67)]. In the allele analysis, the T allele was found to be significantly associated with knee OA [OR = 1.53 (P = 0.043, 95%CI = 1.01-2.30)].


These data suggested that GDF5 polymorphism has an association with knee OA in Thai ethnic. This finding also supports the hypothesis that OA has an important genetic component in its etiology, and GDF5 protein might play important role in the pathophysiology of the disease.

Osteoarthritis; Growth Differentiation Factor 5; GDF5; SNP; RFLP; Thais