Findings also point to a protective role of one other variant of this gene, HLA-DPB1*02, in adult-onset MS patients.
The study, “HLA-DPB1*03 as Risk Allele and HLA-DPB1*04 as Protective Allele for Both Early- and Adult-Onset Multiple Sclerosis in a Hellenic Cohort,” was published in the journal Brain Sciences.
HLA genes provide instructions to make proteins that play a critical role in immune system activation. Specific HLA-related proteins are found on the surface of immune cells, and help the immune system distinguish invading microbes from the body’s own cells.
Given their role in immunity, variants of these genes, particularly HLA subtypes HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, HLA-DP, have been shown to influence MS risk. (A gene variant refers to any mutation in the DNA sequence of a gene, and can be disease-related or benign.)
One well-defined HLA-DR variant, known as HLA-DRB1*15:01, has been linked to a higher risk of early-onset MS (EOMS, pediatric and adolescent MS) and accounts for up to 5% of cases. In people of Greek origin, the HLA-DRB1*03 variant was recently found to predispose people to EOMS. A possible association between HLA-DPB1*03:01 and MS also has been suggested.
“The present study attempts to expand the existing data on HLA and MS by investigating the influence of HLA-DPB1* alleles on disease risk and resistance in a Hellenic sample of 100 patients of both EOMS and AOMS [adult-onset MS],” the researchers wrote.
The team, led by scientists at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, examined 100 MS patients of Greek origin, including 62 females and 38 males. Of these, 28 were 19 years old or younger (EOMS group), and 72 were older than 19 (AOMS group).
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?