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DQw7 and the C4B null allele in rheumatoid arthritis and Felty's syndrome.
  1. R Clarkson,
  2. A S Bate,
  3. D M Grennan,
  4. C Chattopadhyay,
  5. P Sanders,
  6. M Davis,
  7. C Kelly
  1. Rheumatic Diseases Centre, Hope Hospital, Salford.


    DQ beta and C4 null alleles have been defined in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Felty's syndrome, and in control subjects. Comparison of DR4 positive subjects shows that rheumatoid disease without extra-articular features has no preferential associations with either DQ beta or C4 null variants. In Felty's syndrome there are significant associations with both the class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) DQw7 allele (86% of DR4 positive patients with Felty's syndrome and 53% of DR4 positive controls) and the class III MHC C4B null allele (50% of patients with Felty's syndrome and 20% of DR4 positive controls). DQw7 and the C4B null allele are in linkage disequilibrium and the B44-Bf *S-C4A*3-C4B*Q0-DR4-DQw7 haplotype accounts for five of 24 DR4 positive haplotypes assigned in subjects with Felty's syndrome. The results were not accounted for by articular disease severity and suggest that articular and extra-articular forms of rheumatoid disease may be immunogenetically heterogeneous.

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