Aim: Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative arthro-pathy, produces damage and cartilage loss in one or more joints. Genetic factors contribute substantially to the risk of OA. The nature of the genetic influence in OA is speculative and may involve both a structural defect (i.e. collagen), alterations in cartilage or bone metabolism. Analyses of the frequencies of HLA antigens in various OA populations showed different
Results: The aim of this study was to verify the prevalence of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes in 92 outpatients of the Rheumatological Center of Genoa University.
Methods: Ninety-two outpatients (69 females, 23 males) affected by OA were enrolled and divided into a group with OA of the hands and a group with different joints localizations. Both groups have been compared with a control group, represented by 150 Italian marrow donors, to detect a typology of second class HLA alleles that, if present, may represent a risk factor of disease. The statistical significance between the groups were assessed by means of the contingency table to compare frequencies (P<0.05 was considered as significant).
Results: The results obtained showed that the frequency of DRB1*12 and *10 alleles families, not present in the second study group, has been compared only between the first study group and the control group. Haplotypes *07 e *04 are more frequent in the second group than in the first group and in the control group and haplotype *13 is the most represented in the first and second group. Haplotypes *11 and *13 are more significantly represented in the control group.
Conclusions: The results obtained with the study of HLA-DRB1 locus in patients affected by OA and living in Liguria may suggest a research on a larger number of OA patients to confirm the data obtained in this study and to define DRB1 haplotypes as more frequent markers both in OA of the hand and in OA of other joints.