OBJECTIVES--To study if the reported association of a BamH I 2kb RFLP of the T cell receptor V beta 8 gene with DR4+ rheumatoid arthritis patients is found in non-American white populations. METHODS--The frequency of this RFLP in two different populations was analysed. Eighty one northern Italians were studied for HLA-DR genotypes and V beta 8 polymorphism, and 29 DR4+ British white patients were studied for V beta 8 polymorphism. RESULTS--No association between the V beta 8 RFLP and DR4 was found with rheumatoid arthritis in both groups. CONCLUSION--The reported V beta 8-DR4 association is not generally applicable. The lack of association in our populations may be due to genetic differences, or to differences in factors which shaped the T cell repertoire.
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