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Hum Immunol. 2006 Sep;67(9):749-55. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

Association of HLA-DR and -DQ genes with narcolepsy in Koreans: comparison with two control groups, randomly selected subjects and DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602--positive subjects.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II alleles with narcolepsy-cataplexy susceptibility in Koreans. The distribution of HLA-DRB1 and -DQB1 alleles and presence or absence of DRB3/4/5 alleles were examined in 60 narcoleptic patients with clear-cut cataplexy, and the results were compared with two groups of healthy controls: 200 randomly selected controls and 144 DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 positive controls. All of the narcoleptic patients were DRB1*1501 and DQB1*0602 positive, and their frequencies were significantly higher in patients than in random controls (100% vs 17.0%, p(c) = 2.3 x 10(-30), OR = 583.96; 100% vs 16.5%, p(c) = 3.9 x 10(-31), OR = 605.00). The HLA association in Koreans was as tight as that reported in Japanese. Several DRB1 (*0101, *0405, *0901) and DQB1 alleles (*0303, *0401, *0501, *0601, *0604) were found to have weak protective effects against narcolepsy. DRB4 showed strong protective effect, and this was also significant when compared with DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 positive controls (18.3% vs 44.4%, p(c) = 0.001, OR = 0.28). DRB3 (OR = 1.86) and DQB1*0301 (OR = 2.45) were found to have weak predisposing effect, when compared with DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 positive controls. The protective effect of DRB4 has to be further studied in other populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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