To further characterize the HLA gene products that play an important role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
One hundred thirty-four haplotypes from 67 Finnish RA patients and 77 control haplotypes were analyzed for HLA-DRB1 loci, associated alleles of the HLA-DQB1 locus, alleles of the type 2 transporter-associated antigen processing (TAP2) genes, and HLA-B27. In addition, a panel of microsatellite markers within the HLA class I and class III regions was studied.
The frequency of HLA-DRB1*04 in the haplotypes of RA patients was found to be 34% (45 of 134) compared with 14% (10 of 72) in control haplotypes (P = 0.004). The frequency of HLA-DRB1*13 was decreased in RA haplotypes (4%, or 5 of 134) in contrast to control haplotypes (24%, or 17 of 72) (P = 0.000031). The decrease in DRB1*13 was not secondary to the increase in DRB1*04, since it was also found among DRB1*04-negative haplotypes (P