HLA-D Related Antigens in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
There is good evidence that genetic as well as environmental factors are important in the aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease (1). However, studies of HLA-A and -B specificities have not shown consistent differences between patients and controls. Nevertheless an investigation of the HLA-D related [DR] antigens in such patients would be of interest for two reasons. Firstly an association has been found in some diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (2) with HLA-DR alloantigens when little or no association was seen with HLA-A and -B antigens. Secondly studies in mice and humans suggest that HLA-DR genes may be associated with genes which control the immune response (3). A genetically mediated abnormality of the immune response might result in susceptibility to an environmental agent leading in turn to the development of inflammatory bowel disease.
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