JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Linkage of IgA deficiency to Gm allotypes; the influence of Gm allotypes on IgA-IgG subclass deficiency.

IgA deficiency (IgAD) is the most common immunodeficiency, characterized by an arrest in B cell differentiation. It has a sporadic occurrence or variable inheritance pattern, and is also linked to the HLA genes. IgA deficiency is sometimes associated with IgG subclass deficiency. In this study the Gm allotypes, as genetic characteristics of the IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3, were analysed in 83 Caucasian IgAD individuals. Half of the patients presented with IgG4 < 0.01 g/l compared with 5% (P < 0.001) in a healthy population. Three of the 83 had significantly low IgG2 and four had significantly low IgG3 levels. Gm allotype frequencies in IgAD deviated compared with a normal population. Of the 83 patients, 44 (53%) showed homozygous G2 m(",") expression on the IgG2 locus (33% in controls, P < 0.01). In IgAD the Gm(a,",g) haplotype was more frequent (43%) compared with controls (31%, P < 0.01). The Gm homozygous phenotype Gm(a,",g/a,",g) was most common, found in 20 of 83 patients (24%, P < 0.05) compared with controls (14%). On the other hand the Gm(f,n,b) haplotype of IgAD was rare (28%) compared with controls (45%, P < 0.001). The low IgG4, < 0.01 g/l, found in 50% of the patients, was even more frequent (56-69%) among the G2 m(",") phenotypes. IgG subclass levels were given for different Gm phenotypes of the IgAD group and compared with controls. Significantly low IgG4 was revealed in the Gm(a,",g/a,",g) phenotype (P < 0.01) and significantly low IgG2 in the Gm(a,",g/f,",b) phenotype (P < 0.01). The Gm(a,",g/f,",b) phenotype contained the three patients found with IgG2 levels < -2 s.d., and the four patients with IgG3 levels < -2 s.d. were present among those with the homozygous Gm(a,",g/a,",g) phenotype; both phenotypes with G2 m(",") on the IgG2 locus. The 'compensatory' increase of IgG was significant for both IgG1 and IgG3 in all Gm phenotypes, but in the Gm(a,",g/f,",b). Thus, the susceptibility of IgAD with the additional IgG antibody deficiencies, down-regulated IgG4 and IgG2/IgG3, is associated with Gm allotypes, especially the homozygous G2 m(",") expression on the IgG2 locus.

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