Analysis of HLA genes in families with autoimmune diabetes and thyroiditis

Lara Levin, Yoshiyuki Ban, Erlinda Concepcion, Terry F. Davies, David A. Greenberg, Yaron Tomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) and autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) are the most common autoimmune endocrine disorders. The similar pathogenesis of T1D and AITD and their tendency to occur together suggest that their etiology may involve common genetic factors. We hypothesized that the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus may contribute in part to the joint susceptibility to T1D and AITD. We therefore analyzed a data set of 40 multiplex families in which T1D and AITD clustered ("T1D-AITD families") for linkage and association with the HLA class II locus. We found evidence for linkage of the HLA region to T1D (maximum logarithm of odds score [MLS] = 7.3), to Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) (MLS = 1.5), and to both (MLS = 3.8). Transmission disequilibrium test analysis revealed significant association of both T1D and AITD with HLA-DR3; however, only T1D was associated with HLA-DR4. We concluded that the finding of evidence for linkage of HLA with HT is in contrast to the strong evidence against linkage found in previous studies of AITD-only families; therefore, it is possible that the AITD phenotype seen in T1D families has a different genetic etiology than the AITD phenotype in AITD-only families; that HLA-DR3 was the major HLA allele contributing to the joint genetic susceptibility to T1D and AITD, whereas other alleles (e.g., DR4) are phenotype specific; and that because the logarithm of odds score for T1D + HT was lower than for T1D alone, additional non-HLA loci must contribute to the shared genetic susceptibility to T1D and AITD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-647
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • HLA
  • autoimmune thyroid disease
  • genetics
  • linkage
  • type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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