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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;958:345-8.

DR3 is associated with type 1 diabetes and blood group ABO incompatibility.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Type 1 diabetes is associated with autoimmunity against pancreatic beta cells. ABO incompatibility is associated with ABO immunization during pregnancy. Type 1 diabetes is associated with certain HLA DR and DQ haplotypes. The mechanism by which blood group incompatibility is associated with the risk of type 1 diabetes is not known. We propose that certain HLA alleles contribute to the development of both type 1 diabetes and ABO blood group incompatibility. We studied 57 children with ABO blood group incompatibility, 118 children with type 1 diabetes, and 98 age- and sex-matched unrelated healthy controls from Linköping. Typing of HLA DQA1, DQB1, and DRB1 was done on DNA extracted from peripheral blood, by PCR amplification, manual dot-blotting onto nylon membranes, synthetic sequence-specific oligonucleotide (SSO) probe 3' end-labeling with 32P-dCTP, and hybridization followed by stringency washes and autoradiography. We observed that DR3 allele was more frequent in patients with ABO incompatibility when compared to healthy controls (OR = 2.7, P(c) < 0.05). Patients with type 1 diabetes had significantly higher frequency of DR3, DQ2, DR4, and DQ8 alleles when compared to healthy controls. No significant difference was observed in frequency of DR3 between ABO blood group incompatibility and type 1 diabetes patients. We conclude that DR3 is associated with both the development of type 1 diabetes and ABO incompatibility.

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