Influence of non-inherited maternal HLA-DR antigens on susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis

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It has recently been observed that non-inherited maternal DR4 antigens (NIMAs) of DR4 negative rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients were increased compared with non-inherited paternal DR4 antigens (NIPAs). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of non-inherited DR4 antigens and DRB1 alleles in parents of RA patients.


HLA-DR serology and DRB1 typing was performed in 97 RA patients and their parents. NIMA and NIPA frequencies were compared, stratified according to the presence of DR4 and/or the shared epitope (SE).


In DR4 negative patients, NIMA DR4 was increased compared with NIPA DR4 (OR 3.10, 95% CI 0.76, 12.70). When combined with results from a previous study this increase was significant (OR 3.65, 95% CI 1.29, 10.31). The NIMA effect of SE positive DR4 subtypes in this study (OR 4.73, 95% CI 0.94, 23.8) was stronger than the NIMA effect of combined SE positive DRB1 alleles (OR 2.19 95% CI 0.36, 13.22).


The association between non-inherited maternal HLA-DR4 alleles and the susceptibility to RA was observed in two independent populations.

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