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Rev Neurol. 2011 Aug 1;53(3):146-52.

[HLA-DRB1 typing in Caucasians patients with neuromyelitis optica].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicio de Neurología, Hospital Clínicm, Barcelona, España.



The existence of antibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP-4-ab) has identified neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and multiple sclerosis (MS) as different diseases. Although HLA-DRB1 alleles contribute to MS risk, recent studies suggest that HLA back-ground differs between patients with NMO or MS in non-Caucasians populations. Our study was aimed to analyze HLA-DRB1 distribution in Caucasians NMO patients.


We recruited a cohort of 22 NMO patients (73% were AQP-4-ab positive), 228 MS patients and 225 healthy controls from Spain and we genotyped the HLA-DRB1 locus. Then, we performed a pool analysis using reported data from 45 NMO patients (53% were AQP-4-ab positive), 156 MS patients and 310 healthy controls from Caucasian French population.


In the Spanish cohort, NMO was associated with increased frequency of DRB1*10 allele compared with MS (odds ratio, OR = 15.1; 95% confidence interval, 95% CI = 3.26-69.84; p = 0.012). In the pooled analysis, by comparison with healthy controls, NMO was associated with increased frequency of DRB1*03 allele (OR = 2.27; 95% CI = 1.44-3.58; p < 0.0008) which was related to AQP-4-ab seropositivity (OR = 2.74; 95% CI = 1.58-4.77; p < 0.0008). By contrast, MS was associated with increased frequency of DRB1*15 allele (OR = 2.09; 95% CI = 1.62-2.68; p < 0.0008) and decreased frequency of DRB1*07 allele (OR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.44-0.78; p < 0.0008).


Caucasian patients with NMO and MS have a different HLA-DRB1 allelic distribution. DRB1*03 allele seems to contribute to NMO seropositivity. Multicenter collaborative efforts are needed to adequately address the genetic contribution to NMO susceptibility.

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