Open Access

Association between migraine and HLA–DRB1 gene polymorphisms

  • I. Rainero1Email author,
  • E. Fasano2,
  • E. Rubino1,
  • C. Rivoiro1,
  • W. Valfrè1,
  • S. Gallone1,
  • L. Savi1,
  • S. Gentile1,
  • R. Lo Giudice1,
  • P. De Martino1,
  • A. M. Dall’Omo2 and
  • L. Pinessi1
The Journal of Headache and Pain20056:180

Published: 20 July 2005


We examined the distribution of HLA–DRB1 alleles in a cohort of 255 Italian migraine patients and in a control group of 325 healthy subjects. The frequency of DRB1*12 allele was found to be significantly reduced (p=0.02) in patients with migraine while the DRB1*16 allele was significantly increased (p=0.04) in comparison with controls. When the patients were divided into disease subgroups (migraine with and without aura), HLA–DRB1**16 allele was significantly increased (p<0.05) only in migraine without aura patients. We conclude that, in Italian patients, migraine is associated with different alleles of the HLA–DRB1 locus. Our data suggest the presence of a genetic susceptibility factor for migraine within the HLA region.

Key words

HLA–DRB1MigraineAuraMajor histocompatibility complexMHC