Human leukocyte antigens class I and class II in patients with pemphigus in southern Turkey


  • Funding: This study was supported by the Akdeniz University Scientific Research Projects Unit.

  • Conflicts of interest: None.

  • This study was presented at the 18th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, October 7–11, 2009, Berlin.

Erkan Alpsoy, md
Department of Dermatology and Venereology
Akdeniz University School of Medicine
07059 Antalya


Background  Genetic factors that predispose individuals to pemphigus are considered to play important roles in the development of the disease. Furthermore, population studies of patients with pemphigus have clearly shown that the most prevalent alleles differ across ethnic groups.

Objectives  This controlled study was designed to detect the distribution of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II alleles in Turkish patients with pemphigus.

Methods  Sixty patients diagnosed with pemphigus according to clinical findings, histology, immunofluorescence, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were enrolled in the study. The control group consisted of 60 healthy adult transplant donors. HLA typing was carried out using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with sequence-specific primers (SSP) method.

Results  The frequencies of HLAs A*11, CW*01, DRB1*04, DRB1*14, DQB1*05, and DPB1*0401 were found to be statistically significantly higher in the disease group than in controls. By contrast, the frequencies of HLAs B*18, B*50, DRB1*11, DQB1*02, DQB1*06, DPB1*0301, and DPB1*1102 were statistically significantly lower in the pemphigus group than in controls. Linkage dysequilibrium analysis showed that DRB1*14/DQB1*05, A*11/DQB1*05, and A*11/DRB1*14 alleles were detected frequently in pemphigus patients, and DRB1*11/DQB1*05, DRB1*14/DQB1*02, B*50/DQB1*02, and B*50/DPB1*0301 alleles appeared frequently in healthy controls.

Conclusions  The results suggest that DRB1*04, DRB1*14, DQB1*05, and DPB1*0401 class II HLAs and A*11 and CW*01 class I HLAs are associated with pemphigus in southern Turkey. Observed differences in LD patterns between patients and controls suggest that the coexistence of the respective alleles is strongly determinant of predisposition towards (DRB1*14/DQB1*05 and A*11/DQB1*05) or protection against (B*50/DQB1*02) the disease.