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Tissue Antigens. 1999 Dec;54(6):565-71.

Significant associations of HLA-B*5101 and B*5108, and lack of association of class II alleles with Behçet's disease in Italian patients.

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  • 1Department of Genetic Information, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.


Behçet's disease has been known to be strongly associated with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) B51, one of the split antigens of HLA-B5. An increased incidence of HLA-B51 in the patient group has also been reported in an Italian population. Since the B51 antigen has been recently identified to comprise nine alleles, B*5101-B*5109, we performed HLA-B51 allele genotyping by the polymerase chain reaction-sequencing based typing (PCR-SBT) method as well as serological HLA-A and -B typing among 21 Italian patients with Behçet's disease in order to investigate whether there is any correlation of one particular B51-associated allele with Behcet's disease. In addition, HLA class II genotyping was performed by the PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method. As a result, only the phenotype frequency of the B51 antigen was found to be significantly increased in the patient group as compared to the ethnically matched control group by the corrected P-value analysis (71.4% in patients vs. 17.9% in controls; chi2 = 14.26, Pc = 0.0042, R.R. = 11.5). In the B51 allele genotyping, 11 out of 15 B51-positive patients were B*5101 and the remaining four were B*5108, whereas all of 5 normal controls were B*5101, showing significant association of each allele with Behçet's disease. No significant difference was observed between the patient and control groups in the HLA class II allelic distribution. This study revealed a strong association of Behçet's disease in Italian with B*5108 as well as B*5101, providing important insight into the molecular mechanism underlying an HLA association with Behçet's disease.

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