In the present study, we tested 19 Caucasian and 28 Black American narcoleptics for the presence of the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) DQB1*0602 and DQA1*0102 (DQ1) genes using a specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-oligotyping technique. A similar technique was also used to identify DRB1*1501 and DRB1*1503 (DR2). Results indicate that all but one Caucasian patient (previously identified) were DRB1*1501 (DR2) and DQB1*0602/DQA1*102 (DQ1) positive. In Black Americans, however, DRB1*1501 (DR2) was a poor marker for narcolepsy. Only 75% of patients were DR2 positive, most of them being DRB1*1503, but not DRB1*1501 positive. DQB1*0602 was found in all but one Black narcoleptic patient. The clinical and polygraphic results for this patient were typical, thus confirming the existence of a rare, but genuine form of DQB1*0602 negative narcolepsy. These results demonstrate that DQB1*0602/DQA1*0102 is the best marker for narcolepsy across all ethnic groups.
View details for PubMedID 7701202