Association between HLA genes and susceptibility to toluene diisocyanate-induced asthma

Clin Exp Allergy. 2000 May;30(5):651-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2222.2000.00807.x.


Background: Only a small proportion of subjects exposed to isocyanates develop occupational asthma, suggesting individual predisposition. The human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules may play a crucial role in the development of the immune response to isocyanates.

Objectives: To investigate the role of HLA class II molecules in the development of toluene diisocyanate (TDI)-induced asthma.

Subjects: Sixty-seven asthmatic subjects and 27 asymptomatic exposed subjects (controls) were typed at the HLA class II DQA1, DQB1 and DRB1 loci by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques.

Results: The frequencies of DQA1*0104 and DQB1*0503 were significantly increased in asthmatics compared with asymptomatic exposed subjects, while DQA1*0101 and DQB1*0501 were significantly increased in asymptomatic exposed subjects. No significant difference was found in the distribution of DRB1 alleles between asthmatics and controls.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that HLA-regulated immune mechanisms are involved in TDI-induced asthma and that, in exposed subjects, specific factors may increase or decrease the risk of developing disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / chemically induced*
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, MHC Class II*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / genetics
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate / adverse effects*


  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DQA1 antigen
  • HLA-DQbeta antigen
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Toluene 2,4-Diisocyanate