The variability in host immunogenetic background, especially in human major histocompatibilty genes, has been shown to influence the susceptibility to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical neoplasia. Here, we conducted a case-control study in Tunisian women to examine the effect of genetic variation in HLA class II DRB1 and DQB1 genes on invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). HLA genotyping was performed by PCR sequence-specific primers technique. The data revealed significant positive and negative associations, suggesting either predisposing or protective effects of these genes in the disease outcome. DRB1*15, alone or linked to DQB1*06, was associated with a 2.7- and 3.5-fold increase in risk for ICC, respectively. DRB1*13-DQB1*03 showed a similar 3.5 risk effect. Concerning SCC, we observed a relatively higher, about 1.2 times more, risk effect for these genetic markers. In contrast, only one haplotype – DRB1*13-DQB1*06 – provides evidence for a weak protection (about 0.3-fold reduction) of ICC and SCC. In conclusion, we suggest that HLA class II polymorphisms are involved in the genetic susceptibility to cervical cancer in Tunisian women.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Key words : HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQB1, cervical cancer