Association of HLA with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome in Koreans

Am J Ophthalmol. 2000 Feb;129(2):173-7. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(99)00434-1.


Purpose: To study the distribution of human leukocyte antigen HLA-A/B antigens and HLA-DR/-DQ/-DP alleles and to investigate the immunogenetic background of Korean patients with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) syndrome and clinical course with different types of HLA.

Methods: Human leukocyte antigen typings were performed in 18 Korean patients with VKH syndrome and in 128 healthy control subjects. HLA-A/B loci serologic typing was performed according to the standard microlymphocytotoxicity technique. DNA was extracted through the salting out method, and HLA-DR phenotyping and HLA-DR4, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DP subtyping were performed with the polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific oligonucleotide probe (PCR-SSOP) method.

Results: Among HLA-A/B antigens typed by the standard microlymphocytotoxicity method, the frequencies of HLA-A31 (RR = 6.1, P<1x10(-2)) and HLA-B55 (RR = 15.8, P<.05) were significantly increased in the patient group compared with the control group. Among HLA-DR/-DQ/-DP alleles subtyped by DNA methods, the frequencies of HLA-DRB1*04 (RR = 45.1, P<1x10(-7)) and HLA-DRB1*07 (RR = 3.2, P<.05) were significantly increased. However, significant decreases in HLA-DRB1*08 (RR = .1, P<.05), HLA-DRB1*13 (RR = .1, P<.05), and HLA-DRB1*14 (RR = .1, P<.05) frequencies were observed. The result of HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DP subtyping showed the significant increase in DRB1*0405 (RR = 45.1, P<1x10(-7)), DQA1*0302 (RR = 12.0, P<1x10(-4)), DQB1*0303 (RR = 5.0, P<1x10(-2)), DQB1*0401 (RR = 18.9, P<1x 10-6), and DPB1*0501 (RR = 3.8, P<.05). However, significant decreases in DQA1*0101 (RR = .1, P< .05), DQA10102 (RR = .1, P<1x10(-2)), DQA1*0103 (RR = .1, P<.05), DQA1*0501 (RR = .1, P<1x10(-2)), DQB1*0301 (RR = .1, P<.05), DQB1*0601 (RR = .1, P<.05), DPB1*0201 (RR = .3, P<.05), and DPB1*0401 (RR = .1, P<.05) frequencies were also observed. In patients with DRB1*0405 itself or HLA-DRB1*0405-DQA1*0302-DQB1*0401 haplotype, a reduction in visual acuity and ocular complications was common.

Conclusions: These results suggest that HLA-DRB1*0405 itself or HLA-DRB1*0405-DQA1*0302-DQB1*0401 haplotype is greatly increased and may play the most important role in the development and the clinical course of VKH syndrome in Korean patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • DNA / analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • HLA-A Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-B Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-D Antigens / genetics*
  • Haplotypes
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / genetics*
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / immunology*


  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-D Antigens
  • DNA