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Exp Hematol. 2007 Jan;35(1):13-20.

Roles of DRB1 *1501 and DRB1 *1502 in the pathogenesis of aplastic anemia.

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  • 1Cellular Transplantation Biology, Division of Cancer Medicine, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.



Although a number of reports have documented a significantly increased incidence of HLA-DR15 in aplastic anemia (AA), the exact role of HLA-DR15 in the immune mechanisms of AA remains unclear. We herein clarify the difference between DRB1( *)1501 and DRB1( *)1502, the two DRB1 alleles that determine the presentation of HLA-DR15, in the pathophysiology of AA.


We investigated the relationships of the patients( *) HLA-DRB1 allele with both the presence of a small population of CD55(-)CD59(-) (PNH-type) blood cells and the response to antithymocyte globulin (ATG) plus cyclosporin (CsA) therapy in 140 Japanese AA patients.


Of the 30 different DRB1 alleles, only DRB1( *)1501 (33.6% vs 12.8%, p(c) < 0.01) and DRB1( *)1502 (43.6% vs 24.4%, p(c) < 0.01) displayed significantly higher frequencies among the AA patients than among a control. AA patients possessing HLA-DR15 tended to be old, and especially, the frequency of DRB1( *)1502 in patients 40 years of age and older (52.4%) was markedly higher than that in those younger than 40 years old (16.2%, p(c) < 0.01). Only DRB1( *)1501 was significantly associated with the presence of a small population of PNH-type cells and it also showed a good response to ATG plus CsA therapy in a univariate analysis. A multivariate analysis showed only the presence of a small population of PNH-type cells to be a significant factor associated with a good response to the immunosuppressive therapy (p < 0.01).


Although both DRB1( *)1501 and DRB1( *)1502 contribute to the development of AA, the methods of contribution differ between the two alleles.

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