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Common HLA alleles associated with health, but not with facial attractiveness.

Coetzee V, Barrett L, Greeff JM, Henzi SP, Perrett DI, Wadee AA - PLoS ONE (2007)

Bottom Line: HLA heterozygosity did not significantly predict health measures in women, but allele frequency did.Nevertheless, neither HLA heterozygosity nor allele frequency significantly predicted how healthy or attractive men rated the female volunteers.Three non-mutually exclusive explanations are put forward to explain this finding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. vcoetzee@tuks.co.za

ABSTRACT
Three adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain the link between the human leucocyte antigen (hla) genes, health measures and facial attractiveness: inbreeding avoidance, heterozygote advantage and frequency-dependent selection. This paper reports findings that support a new hypothesis relating HLA to health. We suggest a new method to quantify the level of heterozygosity. HLA heterozygosity did not significantly predict health measures in women, but allele frequency did. Women with more common HLA alleles reported fewer cold and flu bouts per year, fewer illnesses in the previous year and rated themselves healthier than women with rare alleles. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a positive correlation between HLA allele frequency and general health measures. We propose that certain common HLA alleles confer resistance to prevalent pathogens. Nevertheless, neither HLA heterozygosity nor allele frequency significantly predicted how healthy or attractive men rated the female volunteers. Three non-mutually exclusive explanations are put forward to explain this finding.

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The relationship between HLA-B allele frequency and the number of self reported cold and flu bouts per year.Outliers are indicated as open circles.
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pone-0000640-g006: The relationship between HLA-B allele frequency and the number of self reported cold and flu bouts per year.Outliers are indicated as open circles.

Mentions: Next, we tested if the effect of the combined allele frequency can be explained by either HLA-A or HLA-B. HLA-B allele frequency did not significantly predict self-rated health (F1,35 = 1.185, R2 = 0.033, p = 0.284), while HLA-A allele frequency significantly predicted self-rated health after the removal of outliers (equation: Self-rated health = 71.347+329.534×allele frequency, F1,37 = 8.946, R2 = 0.195, p = 0.005; Figure 5) but not before (F1,39 = 3.390, R2 = 0.080, p = 0.073). On the other hand, HLA-B allele frequency significantly predicted the number of cold and flu bouts per year (equation: Cold&Flu bouts = 5.079–13.686×allele frequency, F1,34 = 5.829, R2 = 0.146, p = 0.021; Figure 6), while HLA-A allele frequency did not (F1,36 = 0.038, R2 = 0.001, p = 0.847). Neither HLA-A allele frequency nor HLA-B allele frequency significantly predicted the number of illnesses in the previous year (HLA-A, F1,35 = 3.182, R2 = 0.083, p = 0.083)(HLA-B, F1,35 = 2.937, R2 = 0.077, p = 0.095).


Common HLA alleles associated with health, but not with facial attractiveness.

Coetzee V, Barrett L, Greeff JM, Henzi SP, Perrett DI, Wadee AA - PLoS ONE (2007)

The relationship between HLA-B allele frequency and the number of self reported cold and flu bouts per year.Outliers are indicated as open circles.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC1919430&req=5

pone-0000640-g006: The relationship between HLA-B allele frequency and the number of self reported cold and flu bouts per year.Outliers are indicated as open circles.
Mentions: Next, we tested if the effect of the combined allele frequency can be explained by either HLA-A or HLA-B. HLA-B allele frequency did not significantly predict self-rated health (F1,35 = 1.185, R2 = 0.033, p = 0.284), while HLA-A allele frequency significantly predicted self-rated health after the removal of outliers (equation: Self-rated health = 71.347+329.534×allele frequency, F1,37 = 8.946, R2 = 0.195, p = 0.005; Figure 5) but not before (F1,39 = 3.390, R2 = 0.080, p = 0.073). On the other hand, HLA-B allele frequency significantly predicted the number of cold and flu bouts per year (equation: Cold&Flu bouts = 5.079–13.686×allele frequency, F1,34 = 5.829, R2 = 0.146, p = 0.021; Figure 6), while HLA-A allele frequency did not (F1,36 = 0.038, R2 = 0.001, p = 0.847). Neither HLA-A allele frequency nor HLA-B allele frequency significantly predicted the number of illnesses in the previous year (HLA-A, F1,35 = 3.182, R2 = 0.083, p = 0.083)(HLA-B, F1,35 = 2.937, R2 = 0.077, p = 0.095).

Bottom Line: HLA heterozygosity did not significantly predict health measures in women, but allele frequency did.Nevertheless, neither HLA heterozygosity nor allele frequency significantly predicted how healthy or attractive men rated the female volunteers.Three non-mutually exclusive explanations are put forward to explain this finding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Genetics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. vcoetzee@tuks.co.za

ABSTRACT
Three adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain the link between the human leucocyte antigen (hla) genes, health measures and facial attractiveness: inbreeding avoidance, heterozygote advantage and frequency-dependent selection. This paper reports findings that support a new hypothesis relating HLA to health. We suggest a new method to quantify the level of heterozygosity. HLA heterozygosity did not significantly predict health measures in women, but allele frequency did. Women with more common HLA alleles reported fewer cold and flu bouts per year, fewer illnesses in the previous year and rated themselves healthier than women with rare alleles. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a positive correlation between HLA allele frequency and general health measures. We propose that certain common HLA alleles confer resistance to prevalent pathogens. Nevertheless, neither HLA heterozygosity nor allele frequency significantly predicted how healthy or attractive men rated the female volunteers. Three non-mutually exclusive explanations are put forward to explain this finding.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus