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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Jun 1;88(11):5056-60.

Major histocompatibility complex haplotypes and class II genes in non-Jewish patients with pemphigus vulgaris.

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  • 1Department of Oral Pathology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02115.


Previous studies demonstrated that HLA-DR4 was markedly increased among Ashkenazi Jewish patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV), almost entirely as the common Jewish extended haplotype [HLA-B38, SC21, DR4, DQw8] or as the haplotype HLA-B35, SC31, DR4, DQw8, and that HLA-DR4, DQw8 was distributed among patients in a manner consistent with dominant expression of a class II (D-region or D-region-linked) susceptibility gene. In the present study of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) haplotypes in 25 non-Jewish PV patients, DR4, DQw8 was found in 12 of the patients and DRw6, DQw5 was found in 15. Only 3 patients had neither. Only 1 of the DR4, DQw8 haplotypes was [HLA-B38, SC21, DR4, DQw8] and 2 were HLA-B35, SC31, DR4, DQw8; most were the presumed fragments (SC31, DR4, DQw8) or (SC21, DR4, DQw8) or DR4, DQw8 with some other complotype. Of the patients with DRw6, DQw5, all were DRw14, DQw5, and 6 had a rare Caucasian haplotype, HLA-Bw55, SB45, DRw14, DQw5. Four of 6 of these were found in patients of Italian extraction, as was the 1 normal example. The non-Jewish patients were of more Southern European extraction than our controls. This suggests that there are two major MHC susceptibility alleles in American patients with PV. The more ancient apparently arose on a haplotype in the Jews, HLA-B38(35), SC21(SC31), DR4, DQw8, and spread to other populations largely as D-region segments. The other arose in or near Italy on the haplotype HLA-Bw55, SB45, DRw14, DQw5 and has also partially fragmented so that many patients carry only DRw14, DQw5. The available data do not permit the specific localization of either the DR4, DQw8- or the DRw14, DQw5-linked susceptibility genes.

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