Background: Recently, we have obtained evidence for linkage between Der p 1-specific IgE antibodies and markers on chromosome 6p21 (HLA-D region) in a genome-wide screening in Caucasian families recruited as a part of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Asthma (CSGA). Objective: Specific IgE antibodies toward different Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) polypeptides were detected by immunoblotting analysis, and the transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) was performed between specific IgE responsiveness toward each different Der p polypeptide and markers on chromosome 6p21 to better clarify the genetic contribution of HLA-D genes. Methods: We studied 299 individuals in 45 Caucasian families participating in the CSGA. Serum samples from 137 individuals that showed elevated specific IgE antibodies toward the Der p crude allergen (> -0.5 log IU/mL) by ACCESS immunoassay were subjected to immunoblotting analysis. TDT was conducted between the presence of specific IgE antibodies toward each of 12 different Der p polypeptides and 4 polymorphic markers on chromosome 6p21. Results: The 196-bp allele of D6S1281 and the 104-bp allele of DQCAR showed significant excess transmission to specific IgE responders toward a particular Der p polypeptide (120 kd, 55 kd, 45 kd, or 37 kd). In contrast, the 200-bp allele of D6S1281 and the 204-bp allele of D6S291 showed significantly decreased transmission to specific IgE responders toward a particular Der p polypeptide (120 kd, 90 kd, 52 kd, or 45 kd). Deviation from the expected 50% transmission in heterozygous parents was statistically significant after correcting for multiple comparisons. Conclusion: This study supported our previous findings that genes on chromosome 6p21 (HLA-D region) may influence the expression of Der p-specific IgE responsiveness in this Caucasian population. Our results, however, reveal the complexity of genetic regulations of Der p-specific IgE responsiveness by HLA-D genes, suggesting the strong influence of non-HLA loci and perhaps environmental factors for the development of Der p-specific IgE responsiveness.
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