The association between the genetic polymorphism of HLA-DQA1, DQB1, and DRB1 and serum alanine aminotransferase levels in chronic hepatitis C in the Chinese population.
ABSTRACT To investigate a possible association between HLA genes with serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and evaluate whether the HLA-DQA1, DQB1, and DRB1 genes could influence the development of liver damage in chronic hepatitis C.
A total of 145 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (36 patients with persistently normal ALT values; 109 patients with elevated ALT levels) and 160 uninfected healthy controls were examined for HLA-DQA1, DQB1, and DRB1 molecules by using polymerase chain reaction-sequencing based typing (PCR-SBT).
Among the patients chronically infected with HCV, the frequencies of DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301, and DRB1*0401 alleles were significantly increased in the normal ALT group compared with those with abnormal ALT levels, whereas that of DQB1*0201 was significantly lower. As compared to uninfected healthy controls, DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301, and DRB1*0401 allele frequencies were also statistically higher in the normal ALT group, whereas that of DQB1*0201 was the inverse. The haplotype frequencies of DQA1*0301-DQB1*0301, DQA1*0501-DQB1*0301, and DRB1*1101-DQB1*0301 were found to be significantly higher in the normal ALT group. Multivariate logistic regression indicated that female sex, and the DQB1*0301 allele and DRB1*0401 allele were independently associated with normal ALT values, whereas DQB1*0201 allele was the inverse.
These results suggest that particular HLA alleles may have an influence on the serum ALT level of chronic HCV infection as a host genetic factor in the Chinese population. The DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301, and DRB1*0401 alleles, and the DQA1*0301-DQB1*0301, DQA1*0501-DQB1*0301, and DRB1*1101-DQB1*0301 haplotypes seem to be associated with low hepatitis activity; whereas DQB1*0201 allele is closely correlated with the progression of liver injury in chronic HCV infection.