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Tissue Antigens. 1997 Nov;50(5):489-93.

Molecular genetic studies on DNA polymorphism of the HLA class II genes associated with human longevity.

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Research Center of Comprehensive Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, School of Medicine, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan.


Okinawan Japanese are well known for their longevity; the population rate of centenarians in Okinawa is about 3.8 times higher than that of the whole Japan, where the average life expectancies both among men and among women are the highest in the world. In this study, we analyzed HLA class II alleles of Okinawan centenarians by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method for the purpose of clarifying the presence of primary genetic factors in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region associated with human longevity. DRB1*1401, DQB1*0503, DQA1*0101=0104 and DQA1*05 were significantly increased in the centenarians. The significant increase of HLA-DQB1*0503 and/or DQA1*0101=0104 in the centenarians can be explained by a linkage disequilibrium with DRB1*1401, or vice versa. Further, the tendency was observed toward increase with respect to DRB1*0101 and DRB1*1201. These data suggest that several alleles of the HLA-DRB1 and/or HLA-DQ genes are involved in human longevity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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