Additional factor in some HLA DR3/DQ2 haplotypes confers a fourfold increased genetic risk of celiac disease

Elisabetta Bolognesi, K. Karell, S. Percopo, I. Coto, L. Greco, V. Mantovani, E. Suoraniemi, J. Partanen, K. Mustalahti, M. Mäki, P. Momigliano-Richiardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although HLA-DQ genes are the major celiac disease (CD) susceptibility genes, results from Finnish families suggest that not all DQ2-encoding haplotypes confer equal susceptibility to CD, implying the effect of other gene(s) in the HLA region. The aim of the present work was to extend and confirm the aforementioned results in a southern European population (Italian) and to better localize the additional risk factor/s. The association of nine loci spanning the HLA region from DR to HFE, 4.5-Mb telomeric of HLA-A, was tested. The analysis was performed by comparing marker frequencies in DR3-DQ2 haplotypes transmitted and non-transmitted to the affected offspring in 156 Italian CD families selected for having at least one DR3-positive parent. The same analysis was performed independently in 101 Finnish CD families selected with the same criteria. Three alleles, MICA-A5.1, MICB-CA24 and MIB-350, all characteristic of the Ba-DR3 extended haplotype, showed a significantly increased frequency in DR3 transmitted haplotypes in the Italian families. DR3 haplotypes carrying the combination of these alleles conferred an approximate fourfold increased CD risk. B8-DR3 transmitted haplotypes were significantly more conserved telomerically down to the MIC-Class I region. Similar results were seen in the Finnish families. The major conclusion that holds true in both populations is that, while DQ2 is an absolute requirement for the development of CD, the presence of an additional genetic factor within the MIC-Class I region confers an approximate 4-fold increased risk of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-316
Number of pages9
JournalTissue Antigens
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Celiac disease
  • HLA haplotypes
  • Microsatellite markers
  • Risk modifier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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