Renata Balnyte, Daiva Rastenyte, Antanas Vaitkus, Ingrida Uloziene, Astra Vitkauskiene and Erika Skrodeniene
Background: Oligoclonal bands (OCB) may be associated with the genes of HLA complex, which allows to
consider the possible interaction of genetic and immunological factors and its importance in the development and
progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Aim: To evaluate the importance of the associations between HLA DRB1 alleles and oligoclonal bands (OCB) in
the multiple sclerosis (MS) patients disease course and disability.
Metods: This was a prospective study of 120 patients with MS. HLA DRB1 alleles were genotyped using the
polymerase chain reaction. Matched cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma samples were analysed using isoelectric
focusing and IgG specific immunofixation to test for the presence of intrathecal specific OCB and compared directly
with the serum samples.
Results: HLA DRB1*08 allele be related to lower degree of disability, while the other HLA DRB1 alleles
irrespective of the presence or absence of OCBs did not influence disability status. Oligoclonal bands were an
indepedent and significant factor that influenced disability status irrespective of HLA DRB1* 04, *07, *08, *, *13, *15
and *16 alleles. Age at the onset of the first symptoms and duration of the disease were independent and significant
factors for MS progression in all logistic regression models with each newly added HLA DRB1 allele. HLA DRB1*08
allele was related to 75% lower odds that relapsing remitting (RR) MS will change to a progressive course MS
irrespective of the other factors investigated. In the model with *08 allele immunological factors had no impact on MS
progression. Detection of OCBs in the CF was associated with the higher possibility of RR MS progression in all
cases, except then the *08 allele was present.
Conclusions: OCBs had an influence on disability status, while HLA DRB1*08 allele was significantly associated
with lower possibility that RR MS will change to progressive course MS