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June 1989

Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus: Genetic Markers and Clinical and Immunological Findings in Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (Dr Johansson-Stephansson), the Department of Dermatology, University Central Hospital (Ms Kariniemi), and the Finnish Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Tissue Typing Laboratory (Ms Koskimies and Dr Partanen), Helsinki, Finland.

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(6):791-796. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670180063007

• The role of HLA and complement genes was studied in 13 patients with subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus by combining the major histocompatibility complex class I (HLA-A, -B, and -C), class II (HLA-DR), and class III (properdin factor B [BF] and C4) phenotyping with DNA level analysis of the C4 region. Of our patients, 54% had DR2 antigens and 50% had DR3 antigens, when the frequencies in the controls were 25% and 33%, respectively. The DR3 antigen was associated with annular skin lesions that were associated with a younger age at onset, whereas the DR2 antigen was associated with papulosquamous skin lesions and an older age at onset. The frequency of C4 null alleles was 83% in the patients and 50% in the controls. The null alleles were found in both C4A and C4B loci and were not associated with any special major histocompatibility complex haplotype. The DNA studies showed that the null phenotype mostly resulted from a gene deletion. A highly increased frequency of complement C4 null alleles may be a predisposing factor for cutaneous lupus erythematosus and especially of the subacute cutaneous type.

(Arch Dermatol. 1989;125:791-796)