Major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene A in Thai psoriasis patients: MICA association as a part of human leukocyte antigen-B-Cw haplotypes

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Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Although the aetiology and pathogenesis of psoriasis are unproven, it is hypothesised that the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene/haplotype contributes to the susceptibility of psoriasis in many populations. MHC class I chain-related gene A (MICA), located 46-kb centromeric of HLA-B, is expressed on keratinocytes and fibroblasts. MICA is in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B and is involved in natural killer-cell functions. To investigate the relative contribution of the MICA gene in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, extracellular polymorphisms of MICA were studied by polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific primers in 128 Thai psoriasis patients (87 and 41 were Types I and II, respectively) from Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University. The control group included 255 healthy, unrelated Northeast Thais. We observed 11 MICA alleles (or groups of alleles) in the patients. A comparison of the psoriasis patients and the control group revealed that MICA*010 and MICA*017 were associated with Type I psoriasis whereas only MICA*010 was associated with Type II. The haplotype analysis revealed that MICA*008-HLA-B*13-Cw*0602 and MICA*010-HLA-B*4601-Cw*01 were significantly increased in both Types I and II, whereas MICA*002-HLA-B*38-Cw*07 (01–03) and MICA*017-HLA-B*57-Cw*0602 were elevated only in Type I. MICA*010 was in strong linkage with Cw*01. Analysis of independent association of MICA*010 in individuals lacking Cw*01 failed to maintain an association. Our results suggest that a significant increase of the MICA alleles in the patient group is a part of HLA-B-Cw haplotypes. It is conceivable that an unknown susceptibility gene, on certain HLA-B-Cw haplotypes, is responsible for the development of psoriasis.

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