OBJECTIVE--To reproduce findings from previous reports that non-inherited maternal HLA class II antigens might contribute to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility in the offspring. METHODS--Families were recruited from the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council's National Repository of RA families and HLA-DRB1 alleles were examined in these individuals and their first degree relatives using DNA typing methods. RESULTS--There was no evidence of an increase in either non-inherited maternal HLA-DR4 or the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope as a whole compared with the frequency expected using the non-inherited paternal antigens as controls. CONCLUSIONS--The numbers of probands who were shared epitope negative were small, but we are unable to confirm in these families the findings that non-inherited maternal HLA contributes an additional susceptibility factor to rheumatoid arthritis.
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