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Diabetologia. 2008 Aug;51(8):1444-8. doi: 10.1007/s00125-008-1047-3. Epub 2008 May 27.

Autoantibodies to islet antigen-2 are associated with HLA-DRB1*07 and DRB1*09 haplotypes as well as DRB1*04 at onset of type 1 diabetes: the possible role of HLA-DQA in autoimmunity to IA-2.

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Diabetes and Metabolism, Clinical Science at North Bristol, University of Bristol Medical School Unit, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, BS10 5NB, UK.



To further our understanding of antigen presentation by HLA class II molecules, we have examined the influence of HLA class II genotype on expression of autoantibodies to islet antigen-2 (IA-2A).


HLA class II genotype and IA-2A were determined within 3 months of diagnosis in 618 patients with type 1 diabetes (median age 11 years [range 0.7-20.9]). Antibodies to the juxtamembrane region of IA-2 were measured by a radiobinding assay in 481 of 484 IA-2A-positive patients.


IA-2A prevalence was highest in patients carrying at least one HLA-DRB1*04-DQA1*0301 (385 of 450; 86%), DRB1*07-DQA1*(0201 or 0301) (58 of 64; 91%) or DRB1*09-DQA1*0301 haplotype (18 of 19; 95%). Multiple regression showed that IA-2A were strongly associated with the number of these haplotypes carried; only 69 of 132 (52%) patients carrying none of these haplotypes had IA-2A, compared with 322 of 391 (82%) patients with one and 93 of 95 (98%) with two of these haplotypes (p < 0.001). IA-2 juxtamembrane antibodies were less frequent in IA-2A-positive patients with one (35%) or two (36%) DRB1*03-DQB1*02 or DRB1*07-DQB1*02 haplotypes than in those negative for these haplotypes (52%) (p = 0.002), but showed an independent positive association with IA-2A level (p < 0.001).


HLA class II alleles strongly influence the prevalence of IA-2A. The high IA-2A prevalence in patients carrying DRB1*04, DRB1*07 and DRB1*09 alleles in linkage disequilibrium with DQA1*0301 or the closely related DQA1*0201 suggests the humoral response to IA-2 may be driven by HLA-DQA1 genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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