Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is a risk factor for periodontitis. Depressed neutrophil chemotaxis has been demonstrated in IDDM and in early-onset periodontitis (EOP). HLA-DR antigens are associated with both IDDM and periodontitis. This investigation sought to determine an association of HLA-DR3, -DR4, and -DR53 with impaired neutrophil chemotaxis in an IDDM sample. The neutrophil chemotaxis index of 41 diabetics and 27 controls was determined by a modified Boyden chamber method, and certain class II HLA genotypes were determined by polymerase chain-reaction amplification of genomic DNA by means of sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP). The mean chemotaxis index of the diabetics was significantly less than that of the controls (p ≤ 0.02). HLA-DR3 (p ≤ 0.002), -DR4 (p < 0.003), and -DR53 (p ≤ 0.001) were associated with IDDM. Neutrophil chemotaxis and glucose metabolism were not significantly correlated. None of the HLA-DR alleles was associated with impaired neutrophil chemotaxis. Therefore, the neutrophil chemotaxis defect of IDDM appears to be independent of these HLA-DR-associated genes.
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