A review of the MHC genetics of rheumatoid arthritis

Genes Immun. 2004 May;5(3):151-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.gene.6364045.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a common complex genetic disease, and, despite a significant genetic element, no gene other than HLA-DRB1 has been clearly demonstrated to be involved in the disease. However, this association accounts for less than half the overall genetic susceptibility. Investigation of other candidate genes, in particular those that reside within the major histocompatibility complex, are hampered by the presence of strong linkage disequilibrium and problems with study design.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Humans
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / genetics*


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains