Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder for which Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) genes are well-identified as risk factors. SLE patients have different phenotypes or clinical presentations, which vary among Mexicans. This variation could be explained by ethnicity and admixture. Since socioeconomic status probably limits and change the patterns of migration, this factor could favor inbreeding and homogamy in some geographic areas. Consequently, it could alter or restrict the possibilities of admixture too. Therefore, the socioeconomic status may also have implications in the susceptibility and the clinical heterogeneity of SLE in Mexican patients.
One hundred twenty-three SLE patients and 234 healthy individuals with Mexican admixed ancestry were recruited. HLA alleles were analyzed using the HLA typing method based on Sequence-based typing (SBT).
As expected, it was found an increased frequency of the HLA-DRB1*03:01 allele in all socioeconomic groups when compared with healthy individuals. The susceptibility allele found in the low-income SLE patients was HLA-DRB1*04:05 whereas, the susceptibility alleles for the high-income SLE patients were HLA-DRB1*07:01 (pC = 0.03, OR = 2.0) and HLA-DRB1*11:04 (pC = 0.0004, OR = 5.1). Additionally, the frequencies of two protective alleles HLA-DRB1*14:06 (pC = 0.01, OR = 0.28) and HLA-DRB1*16:02 (pC = 0.04, OR = 0.22) were found diminished. These findings correlate with the admixture differences between low-income and high-income SLE patients. The clinical manifestations showed a different distribution between both groups. Arthritis and neurological disorder were prevalent in low-income SLE patients, while the hematological disorder was prevalent in high-income SLE patients.
These findings suggest that HLA class II DRB1 genes contribute to the susceptibility and protection to develop SLE differently depending on socioeconomic status. Due to this, the clinical manifestations vary among patients and it could be related to different admixture charge.Key Point• HLA class II DRB1 genes contribute to the susceptibility and protection to develop SLE differently depending on socioeconomic status.