Immunogenetic analysis of silicosis in Japan.

K. Honda, A. Kimura, R. P. Dong, H. Tamai, H. Nagato, Y. Nishimura, T. Sasazuki

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We previously reported that a gene in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-Bw54, DR4, and DRw53 might control the susceptibility to silicosis (K. Honda et al. 1988. N. Engl. J. Med. 319:1610). To further define the HLA-linked gene and other genetic factors for predisposition of silicosis, we determined for HLA-DQ and DP alleles using the polymerase chain reaction and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes and made a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the fourth component of complement (C4) genes, immunoglobulin lambda variable chain (IGLV) gene, and T-cell receptor alpha and beta genes in 46 Japanese patients with silicosis. The frequency of DQB1*0401 (relative risk [RR] = 2.2, P < 0.02) was increased and that of DQB1*0601 (RR = 0.36, P < 0.01) was decreased in the patients. RFLP analysis of C4 and IGLV genes showed significant association between silicosis and a specific RFLP pattern of C4A3-C4B5 allotype (RR = 2.3, P < 0.05) and that of IGLV 5.3 kb (RR = 0.33, P < 0.003). No other genetic markers showed significant association. Statistical analyses of the associated genetic markers revealed that the HLA-Bw54 was the allele that showed primary association with silicosis and the frequencies of the C4 and HLA-DQ alleles were suggested to be increased due to their linkage disequilibrium with the HLA-Bw54. We conclude that the major gene for silicosis may be mapped near the HLA-B locus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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