HLA-G Polymorphisms Are Associated with Non-segmental Vitiligo among Brazilians
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(1) Background: Vitiligo is characterized by white patches on the skin caused by loss of melanocyte activity or the absence of these cells. The available treatments minimize the symptoms by retarding the process of skin depigmentation or re-pigmenting the affected regions. New studies are required for a better comprehension of the mechanisms that trigger the disease and for the development of more efficient treatments. Studies have suggested an autoimmune feature for vitiligo, based on the occurrence of other autoimmune diseases in vitiligo patients and their relatives, and on the involvement of genes related to the immune response. (2) Methods: We evaluated, by massive parallel sequencing, polymorphisms of the HLA-G gene in vitiligo patients and control samples, to verify if variants of this gene could influence the susceptibility to vitiligo. (3) Results: We detected an association with non-segmental vitiligo regarding the haplotype Distal-010101a/G*01:01:01:01/UTR-1, adjusting for population stratification by using ancestry-informative markers (AIMs). (4) Conclusions: It remains unclear whether the HLA-G variants associated with vitiligo were detected because of the high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with HLA-A*02, or if the HLA-A variants previously reported as associated with vitiligo were detected because of the high LD with HLA-G*01:01:01:01/UTR-1, or if both genes jointly contribute to vitiligo susceptibility.