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Immunol Invest. 2012;41(2):117-28. doi: 10.3109/08820139.2011.593218. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Investigation of the possible association between the HLA antigens and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

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Department of Immunopathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012 India.


The etiology of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), characterized by destruction of platelets, is still poorly understood. Although genetic as well as immunological factors are thought to play a role in the disease pathogenesis, genetic association studies in terms of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphisms are scarce and discrepant. Results from previous studies suggest that different populations show varying associations with MHC alleles. Since i) there are inconsistencies in HLA associations, and ii) such an association study does not exist for the Indian subcontinent, we carried out sequence specific priming (SSP)-based genotyping of HLA DRB1 alleles in the North Indian population. Data for such studies is available for two East Asian countries, Japan and China, and the association in both cases is different. Further, among the Japanese population too, there are discrepant results. It was therefore important to analyze such an association in the Indian population, belonging to Southern Asia. Our data shows that none of the alleles have any significant association with ITP. Moreover, in contrast to other studies, comparison made between patients who were responsive to steroid therapy against those who were refractory to steroids, also did not show any association of the HLA DRB1 alleles with steroid responsiveness.

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