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  • Koskela, Satu; Ritari, Jarmo; Hyvärinen, Kati; Kwan, Tony; Niittyvuopio, Riitta; Itälä-Remes, Maija; Pastinen, Tomi; Partanen, Jukka (2018)
    Matching classical HLA alleles between donor and recipient is an important factor in avoiding adverse immunological effects in HSCT. Siblings with no differences in HLA alleles, either due to identical-by-state or identical-by-descent status, are considered to be optimal donors. We carried out a retrospective genomic sequence and SNP analysis of 336 fully HLA-A, -B, -DRB1 matched and 14 partially HLA-matched sibling HSCT pairs to determine the level of undetected mismatching within the MHC segment as well as to map their recombination sites. The genomic sequence of 34 genes locating in the MHC region revealed allelic mismatching at 1 to 8 additional genes in partially HLA-matched pairs. Also, fully matched pairs were found to have mismatching either at HLA-DPB1 or at non-HLA region within the MHC segment. Altogether, 3.9% of fully HLA-matched HSCT pairs had large genomic mismatching in the MHC segment. Recombination sites mapped to certain restricted locations. The number of mismatched nucleotides correlated with the risk of GvHD supporting the central role of full HLA matching in HSCT. High-density genome analysis revealed that fully HLA-matched siblings may not have identical MHC segments and even single allelic mismatching at any classical HLA gene often implies larger genomic differences along MHC.
  • Clancy, Jonna; Ritari, Jarmo; Lobier, Muriel; Niittyvuopio, Riitta; Salmenniemi, Urpu; Putkonen, Mervi; Itälä-Remes, Maija; Partanen, Jukka; Koskela, Satu (2019)
    HLA matching is a prerequisite for successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) because it lowers the occurrence and severity of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). However, matching a few alleles of the classic HLA genes only may not ensure matching of the entire MHC region. HLA haplotype matching has been reported to be beneficial in HSCT because of the variation relevant to GVHD risk in the non-HLA region. Because polymorphism in the MHC is highly population specific, we hypothesized that donors from the Finnish registry are more likely to be matched at a higher level for the Finnish patients than donors from other registries. In the present study we determined 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the complement component 4 (C4) gene in the gamma-block segment of MHC from 115 Finnish HSCT patients and their Finnish (n = 201) and non-Finnish (n = 280) donor candidates. Full matching of HLA alleles and C4 SNPs, independently or additively, occurred more likely in the Finnish-Finnish group as compared with the Finnish non-Finnish group (P <.003). This was most striking in cases with HLA haplotypes typical of the Finnish population. Patients with ancestral HLA haplotypes (AH) were more likely to find a full HLA and C4 matched donor, regardless of donor origin, as compared with patients without AH (P <.0001). Despite the clear differences at the population level, we could not find a statistical association between C4 matching and clinical outcome. The results suggest that screening C4 SNPs can be advantageous when an extended MHC matching or HLA haplotype matching in HSCT is required. This study also supports the need for small population-specific stem cell registries. (C) 2018 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.