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Hum Reprod. 2011 Apr;26(4):765-74. doi: 10.1093/humrep/der024. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

Novel alleles of HLA-DQ and -DR loci show association with recurrent miscarriages among South Indian women.

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Molecular Anthropology Group, Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Street No. 8, Habsiguda, Hyderabad 500007, India.


BACKGROUND In this study, recurrent miscarriages (RMs) are defined as loss of two or more clinically detectable pregnancies before 20 weeks of gestation. HLA has been thought to play a role in RM. However, the results of earlier studies on the role of different human leucocyte antigen (HLA) genes were conflicting and inconclusive. In the present study, we investigate HLA genes (HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1) in RM couples with unknown etiology and normal couples. METHODS Blood samples from 143 RM couples and 150 control couples were analyzed, firstly to validate previously reported association studies and secondly to explore whether any novel alleles or haplotypes specific to Indian populations can be observed to be associated with RM. HLA typing was carried out by DNA sequencing. RESULTS Results suggest an association of the DQB1*03:03:02 allele with RM (odd ratio = 2.66; p(c) = 0.02; confidence interval = 1.47-4.84). Haplotypes of the DQA1 and DQB1 risk alleles also showed a significant association with RM, albeit not after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. CONCLUSIONS HLA-DQB1 appears to have a strong involvement in the manifestation of RM in this population from South India. The current genetic analysis of RM and control couples not only highlights the genes exhibiting a strong etiological role but also reflects the protective nature of some HLA genes against RM. Nevertheless, most of these alleles/haplotypes were not those that are implicated in RM in other ethnic backgrounds, and hence require further validation in other populations of India, from different ethnic and/or geographic backgrounds.

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