All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for April 2003

Genetic and functional studies in multiple sclerosis patients from Martinique attest for a specific and direct role of the HLA-DR locus in the syndrome

Tissue Antigens 2003 Feb;61(2):166-171
Quelvennec E, Bera O, Cabre P, Alizadeh M, Smadja D, Jugde F, Edan G, Semana G.
Laboratoire Universitaire d'Immunologie (UPRES EA 1257 - IFR 97), Universite de, Rennes 1 and Etablissement Francais du Sang Bretagne Rennes, France Laboratoire d'Histocompatibilite, Etablissement Francais du Sang Martinique, Fort de France, France Clinique Neurologique, Hopital Quitman, Fort-de-France, France Clinique Neurologique, CHRU Pontchaillou, Rennes, France.

Among candidate genes involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) genetic susceptibility, MHC genes and particularly HLA-DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 haplotype play a major role.

Based on the strong linkage disequilibrium observed in Caucasians between DRB1*1501 and DQB1*0602 alleles, it is still impossible to draw a firm conclusion about the DRB1 or DQB1 locus involvement.

In order to address this issue a strategy associating a genetic and a functional approach was conducted in a population of-non-Caucasian MS patients.

We observed that in Martinicans (55 MS and 100 controls), the DRB1*15 and DRB1*07 alleles were positively associated with the disease.

However in Martinicans the most common DRB1*15 subtype was *1503 and not *1501.

Moreover, in Martinicans, the frequency of DQB1*0602, found in association with other DRB1 alleles than DRB1*15 (42% of DQB1*0602 haplotypes), was not increased in DRB1*15-negative MS patients, suggesting a neutral role of DQB1*0602 in MS genetics.

In a second step, we demonstrated the capability of the DRB1*1503 allele associated with MS in Martinicans to present the immunodominant autoantigen MBP 85-99 peptide to a DRB1*1501 restricted MBP specific T cell line.

Interestingly, structural features of DRB1*1501 or DRB1*1503 molecules are in good fit with the hypothesis that *1501 and *1503 molecules may act similarly in MS development by presenting the same immunodominant MBP peptide.

On the whole, our results show a prominent role of the DRB1 locus (DRB1*1501 and/or DRB1*1503 alleles) in the immunodominant MBP 85-99 peptide presentation to genetically different MS patients and suggest a neutral role of the DQB1 encoded molecule in MS susceptibility.