Problem In this study, we investigated whether or not significant compatibility of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-class II alleles exists between spouses with severe pre-eclampsia (PE) (including gestational hypertension, GH).
Method of study The HLA-class II genotypes were determined using a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. The number of incompatible alleles in 57 patient couples with severe PE (including GH) were determined, and compared with that in 74 control couples.
Results The number of patient couples and control couples with each number of mismatched alleles of the HLA-DR, -DQ, and -DP genotypes was as follows. The number of patient couples with zero, one, two, three, and four-allele mismatches was 41 (72.9%), and with five and six-allele mismatches was 16 (27.1%). On the other hand, the number of control couples with zero, one, two, three, and four-allele mismatches was 38 (51.4%), and with five and six-allele mismatches was 36 (48.6%). Thus, the number of patient couples with five and six-allele mismatches was significantly lower compared with that in control couples. The same result was obtained as regards the mismatched alleles of the HLA-DR, -DQ, and -DP phenotypes.
Conclusion These findings suggest that significant compatibility of HLA-class II alleles between spouses is implicated in the genesis of PE (including GH).