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Genes Immun. 2010 Mar;11(2):173-80. doi: 10.1038/gene.2009.101. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

HLA-class I markers and multiple sclerosis susceptibility in the Italian population.

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Department of Medical Sciences and Interdisciplinary Research Center of Autoimmune Diseases, University of Eastern Piedmont, Via Solaroli 17, Novara, Italy.


Previous studies reported an association with multiple sclerosis (MS) of distinct HLA-class I markers, namely HLA-A*02, HLA-Cw*05 and MOG-142L. In this work, we tested the association with MS of A*02 and Cw*05 in 1273 Italian MS patients and 1075 matched controls, which were previously analyzed for MOG-142, and explored the relationship among these three markers in modulating MS risk. HLA-A*02 conferred a statistically robust MS protection (odds ratio, OR=0.61; 95% confidence intervals, CI=0.51-0.72, P<10(-9)), which was independent of DRB1*15 and of any other DRB1* allele and remained similar after accounting for the other two analyzed class I markers. Conversely, the protective effect we previously observed for MOG-142L was secondary to its linkage disequilibrium with A*02. Cw*05 was not associated considering the whole sample, but its presence significantly enhanced the protection in the HLA-A*02-positive group, independently of DRB1: the OR conferred by A*02 in Cw*05-positive individuals (0.22, 95% CI=0.13-0.38) was significantly lower than in Cw*05-negative individuals (0.69, 95% CI=0.58-0.83) with a significant (P=4.94 x 10(-5)) multiplicative interaction between the two markers. In the absence of A*02, Cw*05 behaved as a risk factor, particularly in combination with DRB1*03 (OR=3.89, P=0.0006), indicating that Cw*05 might be a marker of protective or risk haplotypes, respectively.

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