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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and impaired glucose tolerance during pregnancy (IGT) are associated with an increased risk of perinatal morbidity and then further development of diabetes among 30–50% of affected women. This is a real public health problem that deserves investigation of phenotypic and genotypic predisposing markers. However, the involvement of genetic background in GDM and IGT remains unclear. In particular, association with HLA class II polymorphism has been poorly studied and has produced conflicting results. In attempt to clarify these discrepancies, we investigated HLA class II polymorphism in 95 GDM and 95 IGT women from the north of France using DNA amplification followed by restriction enzyme digestion (PCR-RFLP). Ninety-five pregnant women with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) were chosen as a control reference group. The distribution of HLA class II polymorphism was not found to be significantly different between GDM, IGT and NGT samples. In particular, we did not find any significant variation of DRB1*03 and DRB1*04 allele frequencies between these three groups. These data provide further evidence that insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) HLA class II susceptibility alleles cannot serve as genetic markers for susceptibility to glucose intolerance during pregnancy. However, GDM and IGT were not equivalent to the NGT control group and presented particular HLA patterns. In particular, we observed an increase of the DRB1*0701–DQA1*0201–DQB1*02 haplotype in GDM women (P = 0.02; Pc not significant) and an increase of DRB1*0101–DQA1*0101–DQB1*0501 and DRB1*1302DQA1*0102–DQB1*0604 haplotypes in the IGT group (P = 0.02 and 8 × 10–3, respectively; Pc not significant). In contrast, we found a decrease in the DRB1*1101 allele in IGT samples (P = 0.03; Pc not significant) and a decrease of DRB1*1103–*1104 alleles in the GDM group (P = 9 × 10–3; Pc not significant). Although these findings are only descriptive, it points out the genetic heterogeneity of glucose intolerance during pregnancy.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2370.1997.d01-114.x

Affiliations: 1: The DIAGEST Group 2: Laboratoire de Biochimie, Hôpital Roger Salengro, Centre Hospitalier Régional et Universitaire de Lille, Lille, France, and ,

Publication date: October 1, 1997

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