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Hum Immunol. 1981 Aug;3(1):1-12.

Genetics of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in Israel: population and family study.


The association between insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and the HLA system was studied in two groups of Jewish patients: 50 Ashkenazim and 42 non-Ashkenazim. The pattern of association of HLA-A and B locus antigens was somewhat different from that observed in European Caucasian patients. HLA-B8 had a higher frequency; B15 and Cw3 were rare in the population studied and were less frequent in IDDM patients than in controls. On the other hand, the frequency of A26, B18, and Bw38 was increased in Ashkenazi patients, but not in non-Ashkenazim, who in turn showed an increase for Bw51. Although the association between IDDM and HLA-A and B locus antigens shows a marked variability in different populations, the association with HLA-DR3 and DR4 is constant feature. There was a typical excess of DR3/DR4 heterozygotes in both patient groups. This heterozygote type carries the highest relative risk, followed by DR4/DR4 homozygotes. These data can well be interpreted by a model of two different HLA-linked susceptibility genes, one associated with DR3 and the other one with DR4, that interact so that different genotypes are associated with different levels of penetrance. This model received further support from studies in 15 multiple case families where there is an excess of affected sib pairs sharing two DR antigens.

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