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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Increased genetic risk or protection for canine autoimmune lymphocytic thyroiditis in Giant Schnauzers depends on DLA class II genotype

Wilbe, Maria; Sundberg, Katarina; Strandberg, Erling; Nachreiner, Ray; Hedhammar, Åke; Kennedy, Lorna J; Andersson, Göran; Björnerfeldt, Susanne


Dogs represent an excellent comparative model for autoimmune thyroiditis as several dog breeds develop canine lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT), which is clinically similar to Hashimoto's thyroiditis in human. We obtained evidence that dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) class II genotype function as either genetic risk factor that predisposes for CLT or as protective factor against the disease. Genetic diversity at their DLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 loci were defined and potential association to major histocompatibility complex II haplotypes and alleles was analyzed. Giant Schnauzers carrying the DLA-DRB1*01201/DQA1*00101/DQB1*00201 haplotype showed an increased risk (odds ratio of 6.5) for developing CLT. The same risk haplotype has, to date, been observed in three different breeds affected by this disease, Giant Schnauzer, Dobermann, and Labrador Retriever, indicating that it is a common genetic risk factor in a variety of breeds affected by this disease. Importantly, protection for development of the disease was found in dogs carrying the DLA-DRB1*01301/DQA1*00301/DQB1*00501 haplotype (odds ratio of 0.3).


canine lymphocytic thyroiditis; canis familiaris; disease association; dog; hypothyroidism; major histocompatibility complex class II

Published in

Tissue Antigens
2010, Volume: 75, number: 6, pages: 712-719