OBJECTIVE: The main aim of this study was to identify foetal susceptibility genes on chromosome six for Ro/SSA autoantibody-mediated congenital heart block.
SUBJECTS AND DESIGN: Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping of individuals in the Swedish Congenital Heart Block (CHB) study population was performed. Low-resolution HLA-A, -Cw and -DRB1 allele typing was carried out in 86 families comprising 339 individuals (86 Ro/SSA autoantibody-positive mothers, 71 fathers, 87 CHB index cases, and 95 unaffected siblings).
RESULTS: A case-control comparison between index cases and population-based out-of-study controls (n=1710) revealed association of CHB with 15 SNPs in the 6p21.3 MHC locus at a chromosome-wide significance of p<2.59×10(-6) (OR 2.21-3.12). In a family-based analysis of association of SNP markers as well as distinct MHC class I and II alleles with CHB, HLA-DRB1*04 and HLA-Cw*05 variants were significantly more frequently transmitted to affected individuals (p<0.03 and p<0.05, respectively), while HLA-DRB1*13 and HLA-Cw*06 variants were significantly less often transmitted to affected children (p<0.04 and p<0.03). We further observed marked association of increased paternal (but not maternal) HLA-DRB1*04 transmission to affected offspring (p<0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: HLA-DRB1*04 and HLA-Cw*05 were identified as novel foetal HLA allele variants that confer susceptibility to CHB in response to Ro/SSA autoantibody exposure, while DRB1*13 and Cw*06 emerged as protective alleles. Additionally, we demonstrated a paternal contribution to foetal susceptibility to CHB for the first time.
2014. Vol. 275, no 6, 640-651 p.