HLA-DQA1, -DQB1 polymorphism and genetic susceptibility to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy in Hans of northern China

Wei Liu, Wei Min Li, Ning Ling Sun
Annals of Human Genetics 2005, 69 (Pt 4): 382-8
Autoimmune mechanisms are likely to participate in the pathogenesis of at least a subgroup of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC), and components of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may serve as markers for the propensity to develop immune-mediated myocardial damage. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II genes, especially HLA-DQ genes, which are highly polymorphic, play an important role in the activation of immune responses and thus control the predisposition to, or protection from, IDC. This study was conducted to investigate the association of HLA-DQA1, -DQB1 allele polymorphisms with an autoantibody against the myocardial mitochondria ADP/ATP carrier, and to explore susceptibility to idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC) among the Han ethnic group in northern China and the immunological mechanisms and hereditary susceptibility to IDC. Polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primer (PCR-SSP) techniques were used to analyze polymorphisms of the second exon of HLA-DQA1 and -DQB1 alleles among 68 unrelated IDC patients, 4 probands of IDC pedigrees, and 100 healthy controls, all of Han nationality and having lived in northern China for a long time. Following echocardiography examination the IDC subjects were stratified according to ejection fraction (EF) values. Those with EF values higher than 50% were placed in subgroup 1, subgroup 2 included the patients with an EF value of 15-35%, and subgroup 3 consisted of those whose EF values were less than 15%. An autoantibody against the myocardial mitochondria ADP/ATP carrier was examined using immunoblot analysis. The frequencies of HLA-DQA1*0501 and HLA-DQB1*0303 were 0.3889 and 0.1806 in the IDC group, significantly higher than those of the healthy controls (0.0900 and 0.0364 respectively, both P < 0.05). The OR was 5.20 (95% CI: 3.60-8.50) and 4.85 (95% CI: 2.56-9.39) respectively. Further analysis of the three subgroups showed a higher frequency of HLA-DQA1*0501 among patients whose EF was less than 15% than those whose EF values were > or =15%. Conversely, the frequencies of HLA-DQA1*0201 and -DQB1*0502, *0504 were significantly lower in the IDC group (0.0139, 0.0139 and 0.0417 respectively) than in the control group (0.2000, 0.0727 and 0.1091 respectively) (P < 0.05). The frequency of the HLA-DQA1*0501 allele was significantly higher in IDC patients whose autoantibody is positive in contrast with those whose autoantibody is negative (18.57% vs. 5.86%, P < 0.05); the relative risk (RR) was 4.32. The other frequencies of HLA-DQA1 and -DQB1 alleles showed no significant difference in the antibody positive and negative groups of IDC patients. The alleles of HLA-DQA1*0501 and HLA-DQB1*0303 were closely associated with poor EF values in the IDC group, and may be involved in susceptibility to the disease. The DQA1*0201 and DQB1*0502, *0504 alleles may confer protection to IDC among individuals of northern Chinese Han nationality. The SER(57) residue in the second exon of DQB1*0502 and *0504 may confer resistance to IDC, and defects or substitution of this amino acid residue at position 57 of the DQbeta chain may be associated with IDC susceptibility. HLA-DQ allele polymorphisms may serve as genetic markers for IDC and be involved in the regulation of the immune specific response to auto or exterior anti-myocardium antibodies.


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