Identical MHC markers in non-Jewish Iranian and Ashkenazi Jewish patients with pemphigus vulgaris: possible common central Asian ancestral origin

Hum Immunol. 1997 Sep 15;57(1):62-7. doi: 10.1016/s0198-8859(97)00182-1.


Previous studies showed that almost all Ashkenazi Jewish patients with pemphigus vulgaris carried the extended haplotype [HLA-B38, SC21, DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302] or [HLA-B35, SC31, DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302] or class II fragments of them. Non-Jewish patients carried [HLA-B55, SB45, DRB1*1401, DQB1*0503] or its class II fragments. In the present study of 20 Iranian patients with pemphigus vulgaris, 17 were found to carry DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302 haplotypes, also found among normal Iranian haplotypes and the same as that of the Jews. These findings suggest that the pemphigus MHC susceptibility gene among Iranians derived from the same ancestor as that in the Ashkenazim. The ancient Jews were under Persian domination from 500 B.C. until 300 B.C. and in the 8th century A.D., a Tataric people living in the kingdom of Khazar on the Western shore of the Caspian Sea and the Northern shore of the Black Sea, near Persia, converted to Judaism, providing possible opportunities for gene mixing in two populations that are distinct and separate today.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Genes, MHC Class II*
  • Genetic Markers*
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Jews / genetics*
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / genetics*
  • Pemphigus / genetics*
  • Pemphigus / immunology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Genetic Markers
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens