Investigation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) associations in sporadic inclusion body myositis

Adrian Scott

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    [Truncated abstract] Sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) is a chronic inflammatory disease that is the most common myopathy in individuals above the age of 50 in the Caucasian population. sIBM is characterised by cytotoxic immune infiltration of skeletal muscle, consisting primarily of CD8+ T-cells and macrophages, as well as a degenerative process, with muscle fibre vacuolation and intracellular filamentous inclusions. The pathogenesis of sIBM is likely to involve a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Whilst the physiological and pathological characteristics of sIBM have been clearly identified, the exact origin and genetic basis of the disease remains unknown. A number of studies show that sIBM is associated with alleles of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6p21.3 and specifically with two ancestral haplotypes (AH) in Caucasians – the 8.1AH, defined by HLA-B*0801, HLA-DRB1*0301 and the 35.2AH, defined by HLA-B*3501, HLA-DRB1*0101. Mapping studies subsequently showed that sIBM susceptibility likely originates from a 389kb region of the MHC, spanning from centromeric of PBX2 to telomeric of HLA-DRB1. The central hypothesis of this thesis was that susceptibility to sIBM is conferred by a single allele found within a region defined using the 8.1AH, which is also carried by other haplotypes associated with sIBM. Three patient cohorts from Australia, the U.S.A and Japan were studied. ... Of the 32 alleles genotyped, none were found in all susceptibility haplotypes and one was common, but not unique, to the 8.1AH, 7.2AH and 52.1AH. Five SNPs were also found in two of the three haplotypes, although none were specific to the sIBM susceptibility haplotypes. These data suggest that the 8.1AH is likely to carry an sIBM susceptibility allele independent of the 35.2AH, 7.2AH and 52.1AH. Based on the possible mechanism of action in cellular differentiation and its location within the 8.1AH-defined sIBM susceptibility region reported in 2004, NOTCH4 was a strong candidate for conferring sIBM susceptibility. NOTCH4 coding region polymorphisms were thus investigated in a Caucasian patient cohort to assess any possible role in sIBM susceptibility. While the frequency of some alleles were increased in sIBM patients, the strong linkage disequilibrium throughout the MHC prevented confirmation of any alleles as playing a direct role in sIBM. The 8.1AH-derived sIBM susceptibility region was further refined using recombination mapping. This approach used markers characterised against multiple haplotypes to genotype patients carrying part of the 8.1AH to locate a common, overlapping susceptibility region. Recombination mapping of patients revealed a common overlapping region of the 8.1AH, extending from BTNL2 to HLA-DRB3. The results of the study indicate that 8.1AH-derived susceptibility for sIBM is likely to originate from a 172kb region encompassing HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB3 and part of BTNL2. These genes warrant further investigation in future studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2008


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