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A susceptibility region for myasthenia gravis extending into the HLA-class I sector telomeric to HLA-C

Janer, M., Cowland, A., Picard, J., Campbell, D., Pontarotti, P., Newsom-Davis, J., Bunce, M., Welsh, K., Demaine, A., Wilson, A.G. and Willcox, N. (1999) A susceptibility region for myasthenia gravis extending into the HLA-class I sector telomeric to HLA-C. Human Immunology, 60 (9). pp. 909-917.

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We have analyzed a series of HLA region markers in 207 UK Caucasoids with early-onset myasthenia gravis (EOMG, onset before age 40), where there is a strong female bias. The well known associations with HLA-DR3 and -B8 have now proved to be significantly stronger in the 165 females than in the 42 males. In patients (of either sex) lacking -DR3, there was also a significant increase in HLA-DR2.

Although the muscle weakness in EOMG is clearly mediated by autoantibodies, the associations are consistently stronger with HLA-B8 (in class I) than with HLA-DR3 (in class II), as confirmed here. We therefore typed 87–137 cases for polymorphisms at four loci in the intervening class III region, and also at three in the adjacent stretch of class I. At each locus, one allele tended to co-occur with HLA-B8 and showed strong and highly significant associations in the patients. There appeared to be a region of maximal susceptibility extending from HSP70 (in class III) past HLA-B and HLA-C at least 600kb telomerically into the class I region, which is now being mapped in detail. Any candidate genes here that act shortly after puberty may allow more precise localization of susceptibility.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: 1999 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
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