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Blood. 1995 Nov 15;86(10):3835-40.

The major histocompatibility complex region marked by HSP70-1 and HSP70-2 variants is associated with clozapine-induced agranulocytosis in two different ethnic groups.

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  • 1Division of Immunogenetics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) have been associated with susceptibility to drug-induced adverse reactions. We previously found that clozapine-induced agranulocytosis (CA) is associated with the HLA-DRB1*0402, DRB4*0101, DQB1*0302, DQA1*0301 haplotype in Ashkenazi Jewish patients and with the HLA-DRB1*1601, DRB5*02, DQB1*0502, DQA1*0102 haplotype in non-Jewish patients. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the variants of the heat-shock protein 70 (HSP-70) encoded by the HSP-70 loci located within the MHC region and known to be involved in apoptosis and regulation of cell proliferation could play an important role in molecular mechanisms of CA. First, we analyzed HSP70-2 polymorphism in risk-associated haplotypes from HLA homozygous cells and normal individuals and confirmed that the HSP70-2 9-kb variant was associated invariably with DR4 (HLA-DRB1*0402, DQB1*0302) and DR2 (HLA-DRB1*01601, DQB1*0502, DQA1*0102 and HLA-DRB1*1501, DQB1*0602) haplotypes, which were the haplotypes found increased in Jewish and non-Jewish patients with CA, respectively. The 9.0-kb variant was also found to be associated with HLA-B44, DRB1*0401 and HLA-B44, DRB1*07 haplotypes. Second, in patients with CA (12 Ashkenazi Jewish and 20 non-Jewish patients), HSP70-1 A and HSP70-2 9.0-kb variants were associated with the MHC haplotypes found by us to be markers of susceptibility to CA. The clozapine-treated control group had an excess number of HSP70-1 C and HSP70-2 8.5-kb variants, consistent with genetic resistance to CA associated with those variants. This finding supports our hypothesis that a dominant gene within the MHC region (marked by HSP70-1 and HSP70-2), but not necessarily HLA, is associated with CA in two different ethnic groups.

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