Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles are associated with many autoimmune diseases, including anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease. In our previous study, it was demonstrated that HLA-DRB1*1501 was strongly associated with anti-GBM disease in Chinese. However, the association of anti-GBM disease and other HLA class II genes, including HLA-DQB1, -DQA1,-DPB1 alleles, has rarely been investigated in Asian, especially Chinese patients. The present study further analyzed the association between anti-GBM disease and HLA-DQB1, -DQA1, and -DPB1 genes. Apart from this, we tried to locate the potential risk amino acid residues of anti-GBM disease.
This study included 44 Chinese patients with anti-GBM disease and 200 healthy controls. The clinical and pathological data of the patients were collected and analyzed. Typing of HLA-DQB1, -DQA1 and -DPB1 alleles were performed by bi-directional sequencing of exon 2 using the SeCoreTM Sequencing Kits.
Compared with normal controls, the prevalence of HLA-DPB1*0401 was significantly lower in patients with anti-GBM disease (3/88 vs. 74/400, p = 4.4 × 10-4, pc = 0.039). Comparing with normal controls, the combination of presence of DRB1*1501 and absence of DPB1*0401 was significantly prominent among anti-GBM patients (p = 2.0 × 10-12, pc = 1.7 × 10-10).
HLA-DPB1*0401 might be a protective allele to anti-GBM disease in Chinese patients. The combined presence of DRB1*1501 and absence of DPB1*0401 might have an even higher risk to anti-GBM disease than HLA-DRB1*1501 alone.