R N Heard

University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Are you R N Heard?

Claim your profile

Publications (20)93.8 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis is a common disease of the central nervous system in which the interplay between inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes typically results in intermittent neurological disturbance followed by progressive accumulation of disability. Epidemiological studies have shown that genetic factors are primarily responsible for the substantially increased frequency of the disease seen in the relatives of affected individuals, and systematic attempts to identify linkage in multiplex families have confirmed that variation within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) exerts the greatest individual effect on risk. Modestly powered genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have enabled more than 20 additional risk loci to be identified and have shown that multiple variants exerting modest individual effects have a key role in disease susceptibility. Most of the genetic architecture underlying susceptibility to the disease remains to be defined and is anticipated to require the analysis of sample sizes that are beyond the numbers currently available to individual research groups. In a collaborative GWAS involving 9,772 cases of European descent collected by 23 research groups working in 15 different countries, we have replicated almost all of the previously suggested associations and identified at least a further 29 novel susceptibility loci. Within the MHC we have refined the identity of the HLA-DRB1 risk alleles and confirmed that variation in the HLA-A gene underlies the independent protective effect attributable to the class I region. Immunologically relevant genes are significantly overrepresented among those mapping close to the identified loci and particularly implicate T-helper-cell differentiation in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
    Nature 01/2011; 476(7359):214-9. · 38.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study is an extension to previously published work that has linked variation in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I region with susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) in Australians from the Island State of Tasmania. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mapping was performed on an 865-kb candidate region (D6S1683-D6S265) in 166 Tasmanian MS families, and seven candidate genes [ubiquitin D (UBD), olfactory receptor 2H3 (OR2H3), gamma-aminobutyric acid B receptor 1 (GABBR1), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), HLA-F, HLA complex group 4 (HCG4) and HLA-G] were resequenced. SNPs tagging the extended MS susceptibility haplotype were genotyped in an independent sample of 356 Australian MS trios and SNPs in the MOG gene were significantly over-transmitted to MS cases. We identified significant effects on MS susceptibility of HLA-A*2 (OR: 0.51; P = 0.05) and A*3 (OR: 2.85; P = 0.005), and two coding polymorphisms in the MOG gene (V145I: P = 0.01, OR: 2.2; V142L: P = 0.04, OR: 0.45) after full conditioning on HLA-DRB1. We have therefore identified plausible candidates for the causal MS susceptibility allele, and although not conclusive at this stage, our data provide suggestive evidence for multiple class I MS susceptibility genes.
    Tissue Antigens 02/2008; 71(1):42-50. · 2.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IL7 regulates T cell survival, differentiation and proliferation. The alpha chain of its receptor, CD127, is polymorphic, and its haplotypes are associated with recovery from transplantation and with the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS), especially primary progressive MS (PPMS). We demonstrate that two CD127 haplotypes are highly associated with the proportion of the mRNA encoding the soluble isoform of CD127 (P<or=0.001). The soluble isoform is over-represented (P<or=0.002) in PPMS peripheral blood, irrespective of haplotype, and the MS susceptibility haplotype produces more of the soluble isoform. CD127 mRNA is underexpressed (P<or=0.001) in PPMS. Neutrophils, which produce very low levels of CD127 mRNA, were over-represented in our PPMS cohort (P<0.02). CD127 expression is lower in more differentiated cells, such as Th1s, which can be elevated in MS. A higher proportion of these two abundant cell types in peripheral blood could be the basis for the observed reduction in CD127 mRNA. CD127 expression may be a biomarker for these potentially pathologically significant leukocyte types. These significant haplotypic effects on expression are likely to modulate regulation, differentiation and function of T cell subsets in health and disease.
    Genes and immunity 01/2008; 9(1):1-6. · 4.22 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) is believed to result from the complex interaction of a number of genes, each with modest effect. Vital to the migration of cells to sites of inflammation, including the central nervous system, are chemokines, many of which are implicated in MS pathogenesis. Most of the CXC chemokine genes are encoded in a cluster on chromosome 4q13.3-21.1, which has been identified in several genome-wide screens as being potentially associated with MS. We conducted a two-stage analysis to investigate the chemokine gene cluster for association with MS. Initially, we sequenced the chemokine genes in several DNA pools to identify common polymorphisms, and then genotyped selected SNPs in 373 Australian MS trio families. We found no evidence that the CXC chemokine gene cluster is genetically associated with MS. However, the existence of common variants conferring small risk factors or rare variants with significant risk cannot be excluded.
    Multiple Sclerosis 01/2007; 12(6):710-22. · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Familial factors influence susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) but it is unknown whether there are additional effects on the natural history of the disease. We evaluated 1,083 families with > or =2 first-degree relatives with MS for concordance of age at onset, clinical course, and disease severity and investigated transmission patterns of these clinical features in affected parent-child pairs. There is concordance for age at onset for all families (correlation coefficient 0.14; p < 0.001), as well as for affected siblings (correlation coefficient 0.15; p < 0.001), and affected parent-child pairs (correlation coefficient 0.12; p = 0.03) when each is evaluated separately. Concordance for year of onset is present among affected siblings (correlation coefficient 0.18; p < 0.001) but not the parent-child group (correlation coefficient 0.08; p = 0.15). The clinical course is similar between siblings (kappa 0.12; p < 0.001) but not affected parents and their children (kappa -0.04; p = 0.09). This influence on the natural history is present in all clinical subgroups of relapsing-remitting, and primary and secondary progressive MS, reflecting a familial effect on episodic and progressive phases of the disease. There is no concordance for disease severity within any of the considered family groups (correlation coefficients: all families analyzed together, 0.02, p = 0.53; affected sibling group, 0.02, p = 0.61; affected parent-child group, 0.02, p = 0.69). Furthermore, there are no apparent transmission patterns of any of the investigated clinical features in affected parent-child pairs and no evidence for anticipation or effects of genetic loading. Familial factors do not significantly affect eventual disease severity. However, they increase the probability of a progressive clinical course, either from onset or after a phase of relapsing remitting disease. The familial effect is more likely to reflect genetic than environmental conditions. The results are relevant for counseling patients and have implications for the design of studies seeking to identify factors that influence the natural history of the disease.
    Neurology 01/2007; 68(5):376-83. · 8.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an enigmatic disease of the central nervous system resulting in sclerotic plaques with the pathological hallmarks of demyelination and axonal damage, which can be directly or indirectly orchestrated by cells from the peripheral circulation. The majority of patients with MS follow a relapsing-remitting course in the early stages of the disease (RRMS) but most ultimately enter a secondary progressive phase (SPMS). About 10% of patients follow a primary progressive course from the onset (PPMS). We measured gene expression in whole blood of people with and without chronic progressive MS (CPMS), PPMS and SPMS, to discover genes which may be differentially expressed in peripheral blood in active disease, and so identify pathologically significant genes and pathways; and we investigated genetic differences in the promoters of dysregulated genes encoded in genomic regions associated with MS. If SPMS and PPMS were independently compared to the controls, there was little overlap in the set of most dysregulated genes. Ribosomal protein genes, whose expression is usually associated with cell proliferation and activation, were dramatically over-represented in the set of most down-regulated genes in PPMS compared to SPMS (P < 10(-4), chi(2)). The T cell proliferation gene IL7R (CD127) was also underexpressed in PPMS, but was up-regulated in SPMS compared to the controls. One interleukin 7 receptor (IL7R) promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), -504 C, was undertransmitted in PPMS trios (P = 0.05, TDT), and carriers of this allele were under-represented in PPMS cases from two independent patient cohorts (combined P = 0.006, FE). The four known IL7R promoter haplotypes were shown to have similar expression levels in healthy controls, but not in CPMS (P < 0.01, t test). These data support the hypothesis that PPMS has significant pathogenetic differences from SPMS, and that IL7R may be a useful therapeutic target in PPMS.
    Journal of Molecular Medicine 11/2005; 83(10):822-30. · 4.77 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The association of multiple sclerosis with alleles/haplotypes from the HLA region on chromosome 6p21 is well established although the remainder of the genome remains relatively unexplored. We have completed a genome-wide screen for linkage disequilibrium in a cohort of Australian multiple sclerosis patients positive for HLA-DRB1*1501. A total of 4346 microsatellite markers provided through the "Genetic Analysis of Multiple sclerosis in EuropeanS" (GAMES) collaborative were analysed in DNA separately pooled from cases (n=217) and controls (n=187). Associations were found in four genomic regions (12q15, 16p13, 18p11 and 19q13) previously identified in linkage genome screens. Three additional regions of novel association were also identified (11q12, 11q23 and 14q21). Further analysis of these regions is required to establish whether the associations observed are due to epistatic interaction with the HLA locus.
    Journal of Neuroimmunology 11/2003; 143(1-2):60-4. · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The role of genetic factors in determining susceptibility to multiple sclerosis is well established but, despite the global distribution of the disease, systematic efforts to locate susceptibility genes have concentrated exclusively on populations from the Northern Hemisphere. We performed a genome wide screen of linkage in the Australian population using a panel of 397 microsatellite markers in 54 affected sibling-pairs. Multipoint linkage analysis revealed four regions of suggestive linkage (on chromosomes 2p13, 4q26-28, 6q26 and Xp11) and 18 additional regions of potential linkage (at 1q43-44, 3q13-24, 4q24, 4q31-34, 5q11-13, 6q27, 7q33-35, 8p23-21, 9q21, 13q31-32, 16p13, 16p11, 16q23-24, 17p13, 18p11, 20p12-11, Xp21-11 and Xq23-28). Our results contribute to the available data adding new provisional regions of linkage as well as increasing support for areas previously implicated in genetic susceptibility to multiple sclerosis.
    Genes and Immunity 01/2003; 3(8):464-9. · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study focused on susceptibility to MS within the beta-chain of the T-cell antigen receptor (TCRB locus, 7q35) in a cohort of 122 RR-MS patients compared with 96 normal individuals using biallelic polymorphisms across the bv8s1(Vbeta8.1) to bv11s1 (Vbeta11) TCRB subregion. The markers bv6s5, bv8s1, bv10s1, bv15s1 and bv3s1 were studied for allele and genotype frequencies; haplotypes were assigned with combinations of two of these markers and stratification for HLA-DR15 was also performed. Linkage disequilibrium was found between alleles of the bv8s1, bv10s1/bv15s1 and bv3s1 loci in both patients and controls. An increase among RR-MS patients in the allele frequency of bv8s1*2 (P=0.03) and the haplotype bv8s1*2/bv3s1*1 (P=0.006) was noted and both were found to be statistically significant. In the DR15-positive group, the association between TCRB and MS was seen with the bv8s1*2 allele (Puc=0.05) and the bv8s1*2/bv10s1 haplotypes (Puc=0.048), while the haplotype associations seen among DR15-negative RR-MS patients included the bv3s1*1 allele (bv10s1*1/ bv3s1*1, Puc=0.022; bv8s1*2/bv3s1*1, Puc=0.048). These results support the involvement of the TCRB region in MS susceptibility and encourage further study of the variable gene segments in this region.
    Multiple Sclerosis 07/2000; 6(3):140-7. · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis is under strong genetic control involving several or more genes each of modest effect. Whilst the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of MS remain unknown, it has been hypothesised that either decreased apoptosis of autoreactive T cells in the CNS, or increased apoptosis of oligodendrocytes may play an important role. The Apo-1/Fas antigen (CD95), the gene for which is located in a chromosomal region showing linkage in MS genome screens, is a critical inducer of apoptosis and studies have shown aberrant expression of this molecule in MS, correlating with a decrease in T cell apoptosis or increase in CNS tissue damage. This study investigated an Mva I polymorphism in the Apo-1/Fas promoter region in a group of 124 Australian patients with relapsing-remitting MS and in 183 normal controls. Whilst there were increases in the Mva I*2 allele in MS individuals overall (59% vs 52%, P not corrected=0.08), and in HLA-DRB1*1501 negative MS patients (62% vs 55%), these were not significantly different from controls. Interactions were investigated between the Mva I alleles and T cell receptor beta chain variable region (TCRBV) germline polymorphisms, with a trend in MS individuals towards a decrease of the Mva I*1 allele when combined with the TCRBV3S1*2 allele (Relative Risk=0.25, P=0.067), and with the TCRBV8S1*1 allele (Relative Risk=0.44, P=0.12). Overall, the findings of this study indicate a possible effect of the Apo-1/Fas promoter Mva I polymorphism in MS susceptibility, which needs to be confirmed in further studies. Multiple Sclerosis (2000) 6 14 - 18
    Multiple Sclerosis 03/2000; 6(1):14-8. · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • Multiple Sclerosis - MULT SCLER. 01/2000; 6(1):14-18.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There have been many studies reporting restricted patterns of T cell receptor usage in established multiple sclerosis and these have led to clinical trials of immunomodulation directed at deleting clonal T cell populations. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that highly restricted T cell populations are also present in the CSF in the earliest clinical stages of acute demyelinating disease of the CNS. T cell receptor Vbeta (TCRBV) gene expression was studied in CSF and blood in nine patients with acute optic neuritis within 7 days of onset of symptoms, six patients with an acute relapse of multiple sclerosis, and 13 control subjects. RNA was extracted and cDNA synthesised from unstimulated CSF and blood lymphocytes, and TCRBV gene segments were amplified from the cDNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using 21 family specific primers. PCR products were separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and detected via a labelled oligonucleotide probe. A semiquantitative analysis of band intensity was performed by laser densitometry. TCRBV mRNA was detected in the CSF of eight of nine patients with optic neuritis, six of six patients with multiple sclerosis, and five of 13 controls, and was closely correlated with the presence of oligoclonal IgG. Usage of a single TCRBV family was demonstrated in two of nine patients with optic neuritis and two of six patients with multiple sclerosis. The number of TCRBV families expressed in the other patients ranged between 5 and 15 (optic neuritis) and 4 and 17 (multiple sclerosis). There is a relative lack of restriction of TCRBV usage by CSF lymphocytes in the very earliest stages (<7 days) of acute optic neuritis. This may imply either that multiple sclerosis is not a monoclonal disease even at onset, or that the autoimmune response has widened before the disease becomes clinically evident. This may have important consequences for the design of immune therapies in multiple sclerosis. Further studies are required to determine whether the CSF T cell repertoire at presentation has prognostic importance. Longitudinal studies are required to follow the CSF T cell repertoire from the time of presentation and to determine whether it may have prognostic significance.
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 12/1999; 67(5):585-90. · 4.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The MHC region has been shown to contain a susceptibility locus for multiple sclerosis (MS). While the strongest association to date has been between HLA-DRB1*1501 and MS, the exact nature of the MHC association in MS remains unclear. Two candidate polymorphic loci within the MHC class II region, the HLA-DMB gene and the HLA-DRA promoter, which lie close to HLA-DRB1, were therefore examined in an Australian MS population. The HLA-DMB*0103 phenotype was increased in the MS patients (46% vs. 30%) and the frequency of the HLA-DRA promoter A allele was also increased (81% vs. 68%). When the subjects were stratified into HLA-DRB*1501 positive and negative individuals these associations were not significantly different. This is a result of the strong linkage disequilibrium between HLA-DRB*1501 and both HLA-DMB*0103 and the HLA-DRA promoter A allele. The complete linkage between DRB1*1501 and the HLA-DRA promoter A allele indicates that the MS susceptibility haplotype (DRB1*1501-HLA-DQB1*0602-HLA-DQA1* 0102) can be extended out to promoter of the HLA-DRA locus. Interactions between both HLA-DMB and the HLA-DRA promoter and other reported MS susceptibility loci were examined (TCRBV polymorphisms, HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1). Some interactions between specific TCRBV polymorphisms and the HLA-DRA promoter were observed, which is consistent with other published reports suggesting an epistatic interaction between TCRBV and HLA-DRB1.
    Human Immunology 10/1999; 60(9):886-93. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genetic susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) has so far been strongly localized to the MHC class II region encoding the alleles of the haplotype HLA-DRB1*1501, -DQA1*0102, -DQB1*0602. However, this haplotype is not carried by approximately 40% of MS patients; a potential explanation could be that they carry other MHC class II alleles with similar function due to the sharing of nucleotide sequences encoding critical amino acid residues. The DRB1 gene is polymorphic at residue 86, encoding valine or glycine. In view of the increasing evidence for a functional role for DRB1 aa86 in the binding and presentation of autoantigenic peptides such as myelin basic protein, this study investigated associations with the residue 86 polymorphism in an Australian MS population. A significant increase in the Val86/Val86 genotype was observed in the MS patients, which was still present in the absence of the DRB1*1501 allele (p = 0.032). This suggest that DRB1 aa86 may have an independent role in contributing to MS susceptibility. The Val86/Val86 genotype was correlated with genotyping for other putative MS susceptibility genes, including T cell receptor beta chain germline polymorphisms, HLA-DMB alleles, and -DQA1 and -DQB1 alleles encoding critical amino acid residues, with a significant interaction only observed with DQB1 Leu26 (p = 0.014). Additional studies of the HLA-DRB1 aa86 polymorphism in MS, and its function, are needed to more fully understand this association.
    Human Immunology 09/1999; 60(8):715-22. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES There have been many studies reporting restricted patterns of T cell receptor usage in established multiple sclerosis and these have led to clinical trials of immunomodulation directed at deleting clonal T cell populations. The present study aims to test the hypothesis that highly restricted T cell populations are also present in the CSF in the earliest clinical stages of acute demyelinating disease of the CNS.METHODST cell receptor Vβ (TCRBV) gene expression was studied in CSF and blood in nine patients with acute optic neuritis within 7 days of onset of symptoms, six patients with an acute relapse of multiple sclerosis, and 13 control subjects. RNA was extracted and cDNA synthesised from unstimulated CSF and blood lymphocytes, and TCRBV gene segments were amplified from the cDNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using 21 family specific primers. PCR products were separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and detected via a labelled oligonucleotide probe. A semiquantitative analysis of band intensity was performed by laser densitometry.RESULTSTCRBV mRNA was detected in the CSF of eight of nine patients with optic neuritis, six of six patients with multiple sclerosis, and five of 13 controls, and was closely correlated with the presence of oligoclonal IgG. Usage of a single TCRBV family was demonstrated in two of nine patients with optic neuritis and two of six patients with multiple sclerosis. The number of TCRBV families expressed in the other patients ranged between 5 and 15 (optic neuritis) and 4 and 17 (multiple sclerosis).CONCLUSIONS There is a relative lack of restriction of TCRBV usage by CSF lymphocytes in the very earliest stages (
    Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry - J NEUROL NEUROSURG PSYCHIAT. 01/1999; 67(5):585-590.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in the understanding and identification of chemokines and their receptors have provided evidence for their consideration as candidate loci with respect to genetic susceptibility/resistance to MS. Increased levels of the chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 alpha, have been demonstrated in the cerebrospinal fluid of both patients with MS and mice with EAE, and anti-MIP-1 alpha antibodies have been shown to prevent EAE. Recently, a common deletion mutation in the gene for the major receptor for MIP-1 alpha, chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) has been described. Homozygotes for the mutation fail to express this receptor. Moreover, homozygotes are highly protected against HIV infection this has potential implications for the cell entry of infectious agents in other multifactorial disease where a viral component may be involved. In view of these aspects, a group of 120 unrelated Australian relapsing remitting MS and 168 unrelated control subjects were screened for the CCR5 delta 32 mutation. There was no significant difference in the allele frequency of CCR5 delta 32 gene between the MS patients (0.1125) and the control population (0.0921). The presence of two CCR5 delta 32 homozygotes in the MS patients indicates that the absence of CCR5 is not protective against MS. These data suggest that CCR5 is not an essential component in MS expression, though this may be due to redundancy in the chemokine system where different chemokine receptors may substitute for CCR5 when it is absent.
    Human Immunology 12/1997; 58(1):52-9. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Molecular genotyping for the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II loci, HLA-DRB1, -DQB1 and -DQA1, in 100 patients with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) demonstrated an association with the HLA-DR2, DQw6-associated alleles DRB1*1501, DQB1*0602 and DQA1*0102, thereby extending this finding among MS patients in several countries to an Australian population. Analysis by the relative predispositional effect (RPE) method provided no evidence for a second susceptibility allele at either DQA1 or DQB1. However, our data and that of others suggest a negative association with DQA1*0101. Associations were found with DQB1 alleles sharing sequence homology with DQB1*0602, with DQB1 alleles encoding leucine at residue 26 (Leu 26), with DQA1 alleles encoding glutamine at residue 34 (Gln 34) and with Leu 26 plus Gln 34 alleles, but each was shown by two-loci linkage analysis to be secondary to the DRB1*1501, DQB1*0602, DQA1*0102 association. The recently reported negative association with DQA1 alleles encoding phenylalanine at amino acid 25, leucine at amino acid 69 and arginine at amino acid 52 was not found in this study, although there was a trend towards reduced phenylalanine at amino acid 25. The determination at a molecular level of an explanation for the world-wide association with these alleles remains elusive despite major advances in MHC typing.
    European Journal of Immunogenetics 05/1997; 24(2):81-92.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PCR-RFLP typing methods for DQA1 and DQB1 in conjunction with the analysis of heteroduplex and homoduplex patterns have allowed a simple method for typing all of the major DQA1 and DQB1 alleles. This method has advantages over PCR amplification with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP), PCR hybridization with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes (PCR-SSO) and other PCR-RFLP strategies for typing DQ alleles. The analysis of heteroduplex and homoduplex patterns can be used in conjunction with other PCR typing systems such as PCR-SSP as a confirmatory step with little additional work. In addition, a PCR-RFLP strategy was designed for resolving the DQB1*0602 and DQB1*0603 alleles, which involved the use of a primer containing a base mutation, creating a new restriction site which distinguished the two alleles. These techniques have enabled resolution of the major homozygous and heterozygous combinations of these DQA1 and DQB1 alleles. The PCR-RFLP technique does not require the large number of oligonucleotides that are necessary for both the PCR-SSP and PCR-SSO techniques and is thus both time and cost effective for infrequent or small numbers of samples.
    European Journal of Immunogenetics 05/1996; 23(2):107-20.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Polymorphism of the TAP2 gene locus, situated approximately 150 kb centromeric to the MHC class II loci HLA-DR, DQ was examined in 100 Australian patients with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), in 100 random controls and in 37 selected HLA-DRB1*1501-positive controls. The results were correlated with HLA class I and class II phenotypes. TAP2 encodes a protein involved in the transport and presentation of antigenic peptides by MHC class I molecules and hence is a candidate locus for a putative MS susceptibility gene either through functional interactions with class I alleles or as an explanation, via linkage disequilibrium (LD), for the known association between MS and the alleles DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, DQB1*0602. Strong LD was found between the allele TAP2*01 and DRB1*1501 in both the MS and control populations. The MS-associated haplotype can therefore be extended to DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, DQB1*0602, TAP2*01, and the putative gene locus could reside on the centromeric side of DQ. TAP2 typing, however, could not explain the DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, DQB1*0602-negative patients in whom, interestingly, the frequency of TAP2*01 was decreased compared to controls. The results of this study exclude TAP2 as a locus for a necessary MS/MHC gene but indicate that an MS gene carried by the DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, DQB1*0602 haplotype could reside centromeric of DQ.
    Journal of Neuroimmunology 07/1995; 59(1-2):113-21. · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1*1501 and other class II alleles influence susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS), but their contribution if any to the clinical course of MS remains uncertain. Here, we have investigated DRB1 alleles in a large sample of 1230 Australian MS cases, with some enrichment for subjects with primary progressive (PPMS) disease (n = 246) and 1210 healthy controls. Using logistic regression, we found that DRB1*1501 was strongly associated with risk (P = 7 × 10−45), as expected, and after adjusting for DRB1*1501, a predisposing effect was also observed for DRB1*03 (P = 5 × 10−7). Individuals homozygous for either DRB1*15 or DRB1*03 were considerably more at risk of MS than heterozygotes and non-carriers. Both the DRB1*04 and the DRB1*01/DRB1*15 genotype combination, respectively, protected against PPMS in comparison to subjects with relapsing disease. Together, these data provide further evidence of heterogeneity at the DRB1 locus and confirm the importance of HLA variants in the phenotypic expression of MS.

Publication Stats

425 Citations
93.80 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996–2008
    • University of Sydney
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2003–2007
    • Westmead Millennium Institute
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    • University of Cambridge
      • Neurology Unit
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1995–2000
    • Westmead Hospital
      • Department of Immunology
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia