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Mol Immunol. 2009 Apr;46(7):1416-23. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2008.12.006. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

HLA-association of serum levels of natural antibodies.

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National Blood Transfusion Service, Budapest, Hungary.


Natural antibodies of IgM or IgG types are present in sera of most healthy individuals and are important participants of the immune response. Little is known, however, about the genetic regulation of their plasma levels in humans. We determined the concentrations of three IgM type natural autoantibodies (NAAbs) reactive to certain conserved self-antigens (citrate synthase (A-CIT), chondroitin sulphate C (A-COS) and 60 kDa heat shock proteins (A-HSP) in the sera of 78 healthy individuals and in their 86 children. In case of all the 164 individuals alleles of several polymorphisms were determined in class II (HLA-DQ, -DR), class III (AGER-429T>C, HSP70-2 1267A>G, TNF-308G>A, CFB S/F, copy number of the C4A and C4B genes), and class I (HLA-A, -B) regions of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Since the samples originated from a family study, extended MHC haplotypes were also determined for each study participant. Our results show that children of parents with low NAAb concentration have significantly lower serum concentrations of all the three NAAbs, as compared to offsprings of parents without reduced serum concentration. This indicates that the serum levels of these NAAbs were partly regulated by factors which are inherited from the parents to offsprings. In further studies performed only in genetically independent parents, we found significant differences in the serum levels of the IgM type A-CIT and A-COS antibodies (Abs) between carriers and non-carriers of the HLA-DR2 (15 and 16) antigens. In both cases the Ab concentrations were higher in the HLA-DR15 carriers (p=0.002 and p=0.008, respectively) and lower in DR16 carriers (p=0.029 and p=0.049, respectively) than in the non-carriers. Even more significant differences were found when the levels of two Abs were evaluated together. Frequency of the DR15 carriers was significantly lower among subjects with one or two low (in the lowest quartile) titers of A-CIT/A-COS Abs (p=0.014), A-CIT/A-HSP Abs (p=0.016) and A-COS/A-HSP Abs (p=0.013) as compared to those with normal Ab titers for both antigens. By contrast, frequency of the DR16 carriers was significantly higher among subjects with one or two low A-CIT/A-COS Abs (p=0.001), A-CIT/A-HSP Abs (p=0.002) and A-COS/A-HSP Abs (p=0.021) as compared to those with normal Ab titers for both antigens. Similar differences were found for both IgM type antibodies when carriers and non-carriers of the HLA-DR15-DQ6 and HLA-DR16-DQ5 haplotypes were considered. These novel observations indicate that not only adaptive immune response but also natural autoantibody pattern, as a part of innate immune response, is influenced by the MHC allele composition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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