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OBJECTIVE: To assess the contribution of HLA-DRB1 alleles in determining rheumatoid arthritis (RA) concordance in monozygotic twins. METHODS: Ninety-one monozygotic twins pairs in which at least 1 twin was affected were typed for HLA-DRB1 using both serologic methods and polymerase chain reaction amplification with sequence-specific oligonucleotide hybridization. The role of DR4 and of the shared epitope in disease concordance was investigated. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals were determined. RESULTS: Increased concordance for RA was observed in both DR4 positive and shared epitope positive pairs (RR 3.4 and 3.7, respectively). A 5-fold risk for RA concordance was seen in twins who were "homozygous" for the shared epitope, compared with those negative for the shared epitope. CONCLUSION: In the absence of the shared epitope, RA concordance in monozygotic twins is rare. In contrast, "homozygosity" for the shared epitope is the most important factor in determining RA concordance.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/art.1780370511

Type

Journal article

Journal

Arthritis and rheumatism

Publication Date

05/1994

Volume

37

Pages

681 - 686

Addresses

University of Manchester, England.

Keywords

Humans, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Diseases in Twins, HLA-DR Antigens, Epitopes, Life Tables, Risk, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Twins, Monozygotic, Female, Male