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Disease Markers
Volume 13 (1996), Issue 1, Pages 43-47

HLA-Dependent TNF Secretory Response May Provide an Immunogenetic Link between Pre-Eclampsia and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

David C. Kilpatrick

Departmet of Transfusion Medicine, 2 Forrest Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2QN, UK

Received 3 January 1996

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) may be relevant to the pathogenesis of both pre-eclampsia and type I diabetes, and there is evidence than human TNFα responses to stimuli are HLA-DR dependent. To test the hypothesis that pre-eclampsia and diabetes may share a common immunogenetic susceptibility, 92 pre-eclampsia patients were compared with 264 general population controls. The relative frequencies of individual HLA-DR antigens in pre-eclamptics were found to correlate with reported relative TNFα responses for those antigens. Moreover, putative high responder HLA-DR I, DR3 and DR4 alleles were significantly (p<0.00 I) more frequent in pre-eclampsia patients (79%) than in controls (59%). This hypothesis could explain the weak association between pre-eclampsia and diabetes and may help resolve the apparently conflicting literature on HLA in pre-eclampsia.