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Arch Dermatol Res. 2006 Dec;298(7):347-52. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Association of HLA loci alleles and antigens in Saudi patients with vitiligo.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh 11159, Saudi Arabia.


HLA complex is composed of several closely linked loci, each containing several alleles, yielding a high expression of polymorphism. Vitiligo, a commonly acquired dermatological disorder, has been associated with different HLA antigens in different ethnic groups. In this study, HLA classes I (HLA-A, B, and C) and II (HLA-DR, DQ) antigens/alleles were analyzed in a group of 80 Saudi subjects consisting of vitiligo patients (40) and matched controls (40). The frequency of antigens of various HLA loci was tested using two-stage microcytotoxicity assays, while the frequency of alleles of HLA-DR was screened by polymerase chain reaction/sequence specific primers (PCR/SSP) method. The frequencies of HLA-B7, B15, Bw6, Cw6, Cw7, and DRB4*010101 were found to be significantly higher in vitiligo patients compared to controls [P = 0.029, 0.015, 0.033, 0.009, 0.043, and 0.015, respectively, with relative risk (RR) > or = 3, etiologic fraction (EF) > or = 0.4]. On the other hand, HLA-A9, B5, DQ1, and DRB3*010101 were significantly decreased in vitiligo patients compared to healthy Saudis [P = 0.008, 0.004, 0.028, and 0.04, respectively, with RR < 1 and preventive fraction (PF) < 0.5]. Among the patients, the highest allele frequency was noted for DRB4*010101(70%), while in controls it was for DRB3*010101 (72.5%). These results for antigens and allele frequency of various HLA Loci in vitiligo patients and control subjects suggested that HLA-B7, Bw6, Cw6, Cw7, and DRB4*010101 could be susceptible to vitiligo, while HLA-A9, B5, DQ1, and DRB3*010101 might be negatively associated with the development of vitiligo in Saudis.

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