Background & aims: Autoimmune pancreatitis is a distinctive disease entity characterized by high serum immunoglobulin G4 concentrations. Because of the close association between some autoimmune diseases and particular alleles of major histocompatibility complex genes, we investigated the association between HLA alleles and autoimmune pancreatitis.
Methods: HLA-A, -B, -C, -DR, and -DQ gene typing and HLA-DRB1, -DQB1, and -DPB1 allele typing were performed by the polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primers method and the restriction fragment length polymorphism method, respectively, in 40 patients with autoimmune pancreatitis, 43 patients with chronic calcifying pancreatitis, and 201 healthy subjects.
Results: In patients with autoimmune pancreatitis compared with healthy subjects, we found a significant increase in DR4 (73% vs. 44%, corrected P = 0.01) and DRB1*0405 (58% vs. 21%, corrected P = 0.000026) and DQ4 (58% vs. 26%, corrected P = 0.001) and DQB1*0401 (58% vs. 21%, corrected P = 0.000017). The DRB1*0405-DQB1*0401 haplotype in autoimmune pancreatitis showed no significant association with any HLA class I antigens, in contrast to the B54-DRB1*0405-DQB1*0401 haplotype reported in autoimmune hepatitis. The frequencies of DRB1*0405 and DQB1*0401 were significantly high in patients with autoimmune pancreatitis compared with chronic calcifying pancreatitis.
Conclusions: It is probable that DRB1*0405-DQB1*0401 haplotype is associated with autoimmune pancreatitis in the Japanese population.