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, 22 (6), 643-51

Susceptibility to IDDM Is Marked by MHC Supratypes Rather Than Individual Alleles

Susceptibility to IDDM Is Marked by MHC Supratypes Rather Than Individual Alleles

H Kelly et al. Immunogenetics.


107 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) were typed for HLA A, B, C-, and DR antigens, and for complement C4A, C4B, and Bf alleles, and the results were compared with those of a combined reference group of 332 appropriately matched healthy subjects. Supratypes (allelic combinations) were identified from the phenotype of each group, and it was shown that the frequency of several supratypes is increased in patients with IDDM, in particular supratypes (A1 Cw7) B8 C4AQ0 C4B1 BfS DR3 (P = 0.0001), (A30 Cw-) B18 C4A3 C4BQ0 BfF1 DR3 (P = 0.0003), (A2 Cw3) B62 C4AR C4B2.9 BfS DR4 (P = 0.0002), and three other supratypes including DR4. It was also shown that increases in the frequency of individual alleles are secondary to increases in supratype frequency. Moreover, supratypes appeared to interact; the presence of two relevant supratypes being particularly important. The absolute risk of IDDM was approximately 0.5 in subjects who were homozygous for B18 C4A3 C4BQ0 BfF1 DR3. We concluded that genetic susceptibility is best recognized by MHC supratypes rather than isolated alleles, and that supratype combinations make the identification of even greater disease risk possible.

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