Dog MHC alleles containing the human RA shared epitope confer susceptibility to canine rheumatoid arthritis
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To determine whether canine rheumatoid arthritis (CRA) is associated with dog MHC (DLA-DRB1) alleles which contain the QRRAA/RKRAA conserved third hypervariable region (3HVR) sequence, DNA samples were extracted from 61 dogs with clinically diagnosed small-joint polyarthritis and from 425 controls. Breed-matched controls were available for 41 cases. DLA-DRB1 genotypes were identified using molecular typing methods. Phenotype frequencies were compared between cases and controls and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals calculated. Several DLA-DRB1 alleles were associated with increased risk for CRA: DLA-DRB1*002, DRB1*009, and DRB1*018. This was also observed for the presence of any shared epitope (SE)-bearing allele. The associations with DLA-DRB1*002 and the SE were maintained when only breed-matched cases and controls were compared. This study suggests that a conserved amino acid motif in the 3HVR present in some DRB1 alleles of both dogs and humans is associated with rheumatoid arthritis in both species.
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