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Association between migraine and HLA–DRB1 gene polymorphisms


We examined the distribution of HLA–DRB1 alleles in a cohort of 255 Italian migraine patients and in a control group of 325 healthy subjects. The frequency of DRB1*12 allele was found to be significantly reduced (p=0.02) in patients with migraine while the DRB1*16 allele was significantly increased (p=0.04) in comparison with controls. When the patients were divided into disease subgroups (migraine with and without aura), HLA–DRB1**16 allele was significantly increased (p<0.05) only in migraine without aura patients. We conclude that, in Italian patients, migraine is associated with different alleles of the HLA–DRB1 locus. Our data suggest the presence of a genetic susceptibility factor for migraine within the HLA region.

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Correspondence to I. Rainero.

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Rainero, I., Fasano, E., Rubino, E. et al. Association between migraine and HLA–DRB1 gene polymorphisms. J Headache Pain 6, 185–187 (2005).

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Key words

  • HLA–DRB1
  • Migraine
  • Aura
  • Major histocompatibility complex
  • MHC