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HLA class II genes associated with anticentromere antibody in Japanese patients with systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).
  1. M Kuwana,
  2. Y Okano,
  3. J Kaburaki,
  4. H Inoko
  1. Department of Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


    OBJECTIVE--To define further HLA class II gene associations with anticentromere antibody (ACA), a major serum antinuclear antibody in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). METHODS--HLA class II genes were determined using polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphisms in 94 Japanese patients with SSc (22 ACA positive and 72 ACA negative) and 50 race matched normal control subjects. RESULTS--Frequency of DQB1*0501 was increased in ACA positive SSc patients compared with ACA negative SSc patients (36% versus 13%; p = 0.02, odds ratio = 4.0, 95% confidence interval 1.1 to 13.9), but the association of ACA with a polar amino acid at position 26 in the DQB1 beta 1 domain, which was demonstrated in white North Americans, was not observed in Japanese. The DRB1*0101, *0405, and *1302 alleles were associated with high ACA titres, whereas DRB1*1502 was associated with low ACA titres and a low frequency of centromere protein C (CENP-C) reactivity. CONCLUSIONS--These results suggest that the ACA response is associated with multiple HLA class II genes and that ACA positive SSc patients are heterogeneous in terms of immunogenetic background.

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