RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
Individuals with IgA deficiency and common variable immunodeficiency share polymorphisms of major histocompatibility complex class III genes.
IgA deficiency and common variable immunodeficiency are heritable disorders that can occur within the same family. Both immunodeficiencies are characterized by arrests in B-cell differentiation that vary in the extent of the immunoglobulin isotypes involved. A high frequency of major histocompatibility complex supratypes associated with a null allele of the gene encoding the C4A isotype of complement component C4 has been observed in IgA-deficient individuals. In search of a genetic linkage between the two immunodeficiencies, we examined the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class III genes encoding complement components C2, C4A, and C4B and steroid 21-hydroxylase in addition to the HLA serotypes in individuals with either common variable immunodeficiency or IgA deficiency. Twelve of 19 patients with common variable immunodeficiency (63%, P less than 0.001) and 9 of 16 patients with IgA deficiency (56%, P less than 0.01) had rare C2 alleles and/or C4A and 21-hydroxylase A deletions, whereas these gene features were seen in only 5 of 34 healthy individuals (15%) in the control group. Nine of 11 patients with C4A deletion had an HLA haplotype consistent with the MHC supratype HLA-A1, Cw7, B8, C4AQ0, C4B1, BfS, DR3 previously found to be associated with IgA deficiency. The data support the hypothesis that common variable immunodeficiency and IgA deficiency are related disorders, susceptibility to which is determined by a gene(s) within or near the MHC class III gene region on chromosome 6.
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