Lack of association of HLA-DRB1 genotype with radiologic progression in Japanese patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 1997 Dec;40(12):2241-7. doi: 10.1002/art.1780401220.


Objective: To evaluate the role of HLA-DRB1 genotypes in the development and progression of the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease process.

Methods: Patients with polyarthritis of < 1 year in duration were consecutively enrolled in the study. Other inclusion criteria were no diagnosis of inflammatory diseases other than RA, and no history of taking disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or steroids. Patients were evaluated every 4 weeks, and radiographs of the hands/wrists and feet were taken at presentation and 1 year later. HLA-DRB1 genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism methods.

Results: We enrolled 198 patients (median disease duration 5.0 months) and 150 controls. The frequency of individuals with DRB1*0405 and *0410 was significantly higher in the patients than in the controls. Homozygous states for DRB1 alleles with the RA-related shared epitope (SE) were associated with increased susceptibility for the development of polyarthritis (odds ratio 3.4, 95% confidence interval 1.5-7.7). None of the DRB1 alleles or SE genotypes correlated with the presence of bone erosion at presentation or 1 year later.

Conclusion: DRB1 alleles with SEs were associated with the development of polyarthritis but not with early radiographic progression of the disease process.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Arthrography
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • DNA / analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genotype
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Joints / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • DNA
  • Rheumatoid Factor