COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

DQB1*0602 allele shows a strong association with multiple sclerosis in patients in Malaga, Spain

O Fernández, V Fernández, A Alonso, A Caballero, G Luque, M Bravo, A León, C Mayorga, L Leyva, E de Ramón
Journal of Neurology 2004, 251 (4): 440-4
15083289

BACKGROUND: The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II DR2 haplotype (DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, DQB1*0602) has been associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) in all ethnic groups and very strongly in Caucasians.

AIM: To investigate the possible HLA class II (DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1) associations with MS in Malaga, southern Spain.

METHODS: We analysed the HLA class II sub-regions DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probe hybridization (PCR/SSO) for DRB1 and DQB1 and with sequence-specific primers (PCR/SSP) for DRB1 subtypes and DQA1. Possible HLA class II associations with clinical MS characteristics were investigated in 149 subjects with and 160 without MS.

RESULTS: Associations were detected between MS and the HLA class II alleles DRB1*1501 (45.6 % vs. 21.3%, p=0.001), DQA1*0102 (44% vs. 29.4%, p=0.001) and DQB1*0602 (45% vs. 20.6%, p=0.001). The DR2 haplotype (DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, DQB1*0602) was associated with MS (43.6 % vs. 20%, p=0.002). DQB1*0602 was the only allele that maintained an association with MS in a logistic regression model. No HLA class II alleles or genotypes were significantly associated with any clinical characteristics of MS.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm the positive association of the DR2 haplotype with MS, particularly the allele DQB1*0602, in the population studied. DR4 was not associated with the disease in Malaga. HLA class II alleles or haplotypes were not associated with clinical or demographic characteristics, or clinical form or severity of MS.

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