We reported previously the autoantibodies directed to caspase-8 among patients with silicosis, systemic sclerosis (SSc) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) , and in healthy individuals. In this study, we analyzed the correlation between anti-caspase-8 autoantibody responses and HLA class II alleles in silicosis patients. The frequencies of HLA-DRB1*0406 were significantly higher in antibody positive patients (16.67%) than in control individuals (3.03%, p=0.0006). The lysine (K) at position 71 as in DRB1*0406 has been reported to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The haplotype HLA-DR4; DQB1*0302 was detected in 4 of 12 antibody positive patients. RA, IDDM, or pemphygus vulgaris link to the haplotype. The frequencies of DQB1*0401 were significantly lower in antibody positive patients (0%) than that in controls (13.33%, p=0.0390). The aspartic acid at position 57 in the DQB1 molecule as in DQB1*0401 is reported to play a role in the resistance to IDDM. The frequency of DPB1*0601 in antibody positive patients (5.88%) was significantly higher than that in controls (0.56%, p=0.0003). DPB1*0601 is reported to be a risk factor among RA patients, and glutamate at position 69 of the DPB1 molecule may be involved. Repeated and continuous screening of autoantibodies seems to be necessary among workers in contact with Si-related substances for the detection of immunological disorders in the early stage.
2005 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health