Content » Vol 77, Issue 4

Investigative Report

Evidence that HLA-Cw6 determines early onset of psoriasis, obtained using sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP)

Enerbäck C, Martinsson T, Inerot A, Wahlström J, Enlund F, Yhr M, Swanbeck G.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555577273276


Psoriasis vulgaris has previously been shown to associate with certain HLA alleles. HLA-Cw6 is considered to be the primary association, based on calculations of relative risk after serological typing. This association is reportedly more pronounced in early- than in late-onset psoriasis. We performed a PCR-based typing with sequence-specific primers, which has been shown to give a more complete result than serology. Two hundred and one unrelated patients with psoriasis, with a mean age of 40 years, and 77 healthy controls were typed. Two thirds (67%) of the patients were positive for one or two copies of the allele, while the corresponding figure for the control group was 12%. A significant peak for age at onset of 21 or younger was seen for the Cw6 carriers. For patients older than 21 at onset, the frequency of Cw6 was significantly lower; e.g. for patients with an age at onset between 30 and 35 the frequency was comparable to the level of the control group. The high frequency of Cw6 among patients with an age at onset of 21 or younger is in agreement with data of other groups. In comparison with this age-at-onset group the frequency of Cw6 is sharply reduced among patients with an age at onset of 22 years or older, which contrasts with earlier studies. This may reflect differences between population groups but may also be due to the higher sensitivity of the PCR-based HLA-Cw6 typing method. In view of these findings, we suggest that psoriasis is a genetically determined disease, in which the additional presence of HLA-Cw6 is associated with the characteristic of early onset.


Supplementary content


Not logged in! You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.