Graves' disease is a multifactorial disease in which immunogenetic as well as environmental factors have important roles. Recently, cumulative evidence has shown that genes controlling immune responses are linked to the MHC (major histocompatibility complex)1 and/or immunoglobulin allotype genes2,3. To identify the genes governing susceptibility to Graves' disease, we have studied 30 Japanese families where more than two first degree relatives were affected with the disease. From genetic analysis of HLA (human MHC) and immunoglobulin allotype of all family members, we present here evidence for the existence of two genes controlling the susceptibility to Graves' disease, one closely linked to HLA-DR, the other linked to the gene coding for the Gm allotype.
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