Major histocompatibility complex genes and susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus in southern Chinese

Arthritis Rheum. 1992 Jun;35(6):641-6. doi: 10.1002/art.1780350607.


Objective: To investigate the predisposing role of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a Chinese population.

Methods: Polymorphism in the HLA-DRB, DQB, complement component C4, and 21-hydroxylase genes was analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and oligonucleotide probing of in vitro-amplified DNA from 88 Chinese patients with SLE and 69 matched control subjects.

Results: HLA-DRw15 and DQw1 were significantly more frequent in patients (corrected P less than 0.006, relative risk 5.2), but none of the 9 sequence variants of DQw1 were increased. The C4A gene deletion usually associated with SLE in Caucasoid and black patients was absent from all Chinese subjects, but possession of other C4 deletions and of DRw15 conferred the greatest risk (relative risk = 8.3).

Conclusion: Different MHC haplotypes predispose to lupus in Chinese than in other ethnic groups. Our data suggest that the susceptibility lies at, or telomeric to, the DR locus, and that DRw15 and C4 deletions may act synergistically in conferring disease susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Complement C4 / genetics
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, MHC Class I
  • Genes, MHC Class II
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Allotypes / genetics
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Nephritis / genetics
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase / genetics


  • Complement C4
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin Allotypes
  • Steroid 21-Hydroxylase