European journal of gastroenterology & hepatology vol:17 issue:7 pages:767-71
Immune mechanisms play a role in the pathogenesis of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), as suggested by its association with certain HLA haplotypes. Genetic predisposition is supported by its occurrence in families, but data are scarce. Our aim is to report on two brothers with PSC, and to investigate HLA and MICA alleles in this family. The clinical, biochemical, radiological, and pathological findings in two brothers with PSC as well as in their sister and parents were reviewed. Molecular genotyping of HLA class II and MICA alleles was performed in all five family members. In two brothers, p-ANCA positive PSC was found. The youngest also had ulcerative colitis, and had evolved into cirrhosis at the age of 17 years. Their mother had positive p-ANCA and mild cholestatic changes. Their father and sister were unaffected. Both brothers were homozygous for the MICA*00801 allele, and were positive for the susceptibility HLA haplotypes DR3-DQ2 and DR6-DQ6. Their unaffected father and sister both carried the protective DR4 allele. The presence of PSC in two brothers, and the distribution of HLA haplotypes and MICA alleles, adds supportive evidence for an immunogenetic origin of PSC.