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More MS news articles for June 2003

HLA-related subpopulations of MS in Japanese with and without oligoclonal IgG bands

Neurology 2003;60:647-651
S. Kikuchi, MD, T. Fukazawa, MD, M. Niino, MD, I. Yabe, MD, R. Miyagishi, MD, T. Hamada, MD, S. A. Hashimoto, MD and K. Tashiro, MD
From the Department of Neurology (Drs. Kikuchi, Niino, Yabe, Miyagishi, and Tashiro), Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo; and Hokuyukai Neurology Hospital (Drs. Fukazawa and Hamada), Japan; and Multiple Sclerosis Clinic (Dr. Hashimoto), Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Center, British Columbia, Canada.


Oligoclonal IgG bands (OCB) are present in most patients with MS in Western countries; however, in Japanese MS patients, the OCB-positive rate is not as high.

A relationship between immunogenetic backgrounds, namely, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR2 and DR4 positivity, and OCB production in MS patients from Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, has been previously suggested by the authors.


To investigate the role of OCB in Japanese MS and to verify the interaction between immunogenetic backgrounds and OCB positivity.


OCB, DR2(15), and DR4 positivity were studied in 45 patients with newly diagnosed MS.

In addition to confirming the authors’ previous findings, the clinical and demographic features, MRI findings, OCB positivity, and DRB1*15 and DRB1*04 polymorphisms of an expanded data set of 99 MS patients were investigated by using multivariate analysis.

Patients with opticospinal MS (OS-MS) were excluded from this study.


A relatively low OCB-positive rate (53.3%), HLA-DR15 association with OCB-positive MS (p = 0.0044), and DR4 association with OCB-negative MS (p = 0.0410) were confirmed.

DR15 was not associated with OCB-negative MS.

Demographic features, disease course, and disability were similar in the OCB-negative and OCB-positive group, whereas there was a preponderance of women in the OCB-positive group.

An independent negative association of DRB1*0405 (p = 0.0021, adjusted odds ratio = 0.21) with OCB positivity was found.


MS is heterogeneous in its association with HLA alleles, and based on the immunogenetic differences, the MS patients in this population include at least two HLA-related subpopulations with and without OCB.

© 2003 American Academy of Neurology