Several Regions in the Major Histocompatibility Complex Confer Risk for Anti-CCP-Antibody Positive Rheumatoid Arthritis, Independent of the DRB1 Locus

Hye-Soon Lee, Annette T Lee, Lindsey A Criswell, Michael F Seldin, Christopher I Amos, John P Carulli, Cristina Navarrete, Elaine F Remmers, Daniel L Kastner, Robert M Plenge, Wentian Li, and Peter K Gregersen

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease characterized by joint inflammation and progressive joint destruction. Recently, several new genes with modest levels of risk for RA have been identified in various populations. Nevertheless, the MHC remains the strongest region of genetic association with this disease, and until recently this has been assumed to be entirely due to the well-defined allelic associations with the class II HLA-DRB1 locus. However, it is likely that additional risk loci for RA are present WITHIN the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), independent of the HLA-DRB1 locus. Lee et al. (293-300) now provide evidence for several new risk loci for RA located in the Class I region of the MHC, as well as in the region centromeric to the DRB1 locus. These data emphasize the need for more detailed analysis of the MHC in RA, a theme that is also emerging for other autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Jan 28, 2014 8:35 AM CST