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Autoimmun Rev. 2006 Mar;5(3):187-94. Epub 2005 Aug 1.

HLA and autoimmune diseases: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) as an example.

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Department of Immunology and Immunogenetics, Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos-InDRE, Secretary of Health, SSA Carpio 470 1st Floor Mexico City, D.F., 11340, México.


Autoimmune diseases need to be considered at a genetic and mechanistic level. T1D is an autoimmune, chronic, multifactorial and polygenic disease characterized by the destruction of the pancreatic beta-cells associated with long term dysfunction of several organs and tissues. Mechanisms of susceptibility include epi-genetic and post-transcriptional effects that regulate transmission and expression of the inherited genes. The HLA complex, constitutes the most relevant region contributing 50% of the inherited risk for T1D. An additional 17 genes with variable but small effects have been described. In non-Caucasians, the presence of E-DRbeta1-74 and/or D-DRbeta1-57 are relevant in predisposition. The "Diabetogenic haplotypes" in Mexicans were DRB1*0301-DQA1*0501-DQB1*0201 (OR = 21.4); DRB1*0405-DQA1-*0301-DQB1*0302 (OR = 44.5) and the same DQA1/DQB1 with DRB1*0404/*0401 conferring lower risk, increasing (OR = 61.3) with an early age at onset and a heterozygote DR3/DR4 genotype. In most populations, the absence of D-57 and the presence of R-52 are important to the susceptibility, but in Hispanics, all DR4s (including the protective DRB1*0403/*0407/*0411) are in linkage disequilibrium with DQA1/DQB1 susceptibility alleles. Thus, susceptibility alleles in Latin American Mestizos are of Mediterranean ancestry whereas protective alleles are of Amerindian origin. In this review, we discuss the complexity of T1D and some aspects of prevention/intervention based on immunogenetics.

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