Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Amerindian ancestry in Argentina is associated with increased risk for systemic lupus erythematosus


Previous studies have demonstrated that in admixed populations, West African ancestry is associated with an increased prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In the current study, the effect of Amerindian ancestry in SLE was examined in an admixed population in Argentina. The Argentine population is predominantly European with approximately 20% Amerindian admixture, and a very small (<2%) contribution from West Africa. The results indicate that Amerindian admixture in this population is associated with a substantial increase in SLE susceptibility risk (Odds Ratio=7.94, P=0.00006). This difference was not due to known demographic factors, including site of collection, age and gender. In addition, there were trends towards significance for Amerindian ancestry influencing renal disease, age of onset and anti-SSA antibodies. These studies suggest that populations with Amerindian admixture, like those with West African admixture, should be considered in future studies to identify additional allelic variants that predispose to SLE.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1


  1. Del Puente A, Knowler WC, Pettitt DJ, Bennett PH . High incidence and prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in Pima Indians. Am J Epidemiol 1989; 129: 1170–1178.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Hirsch R, Lin JP, Scott Jr WW, Ma LD, Pillemer SR, Kastner DL et al. Rheumatoid arthritis in the Pima Indians: the intersection of epidemiologic, demographic, and genealogic data. Arthritis Rheum 1998; 41: 1464–1469.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Harvey J, Lotze M, Stevens MB, Lambert G, Jacobson D . Rheumatoid arthritis in a Chippewa Band. I. Pilot screening study of disease prevalence. Arthritis Rheum 1981; 24: 717–721.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Molokhia M, McKeigue P . Risk for rheumatic disease in relation to ethnicity and admixture. Arthritis Res 2000; 2: 115–125.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Molokhia M, Hoggart C, Patrick AL, Shriver M, Parra E, Ye J et al. Relation of risk of systemic lupus erythematosus to west African admixture in a Caribbean population. Hum Genet 2003; 112: 310–318.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Siegel M, Lee SL . The epidemiology of systemic lupus erythematosus. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1973; 3: 1–54.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Fessel WJ . Systemic lupus erythematosus in the community. Incidence, prevalence, outcome, and first symptoms; the high prevalence in black women. Arch Intern Med 1974; 134: 1027–1035.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Shaw SJ, Vadheim CM, Rotter JI, Costin G, Beshkov Y, Zeidler A . Ancestral origin of insulin-dependent diabetes in Mexican-Americans. Int J Epidemiol 1992; 21: 725–729.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Fernandez M, Alarcon GS, Apte M, Andrade RM, Vila LM, Reveille JD . Systemic lupus erythematosus in a multiethnic US cohort: XLIII. The significance of thrombocytopenia as a prognostic factor. Arthritis Rheum 2007; 56: 614–621.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Pons-Estel BA, Catoggio LJ, Cardiel MH, Soriano ER, Gentiletti S, Villa AR et al. The GLADEL multinational Latin American prospective inception cohort of 1,214 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: ethnic and disease heterogeneity among ‘Hispanics’. Medicine (Baltimore) 2004; 83: 1–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Seldin MF, Tian C, Shigeta R, Scherbarth HR, Silva G, Belmont JW et al. Argentine population genetic structure: large variance in Amerindian contribution. Am J Phys Anthropol 2007; 132: 455–462.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. Fejerman L, Carnese FR, Goicoechea AS, Avena SA, Dejean CB, Ward RH . African ancestry of the population of Buenos Aires. Am J Phys Anthropol 2005; 128: 164–170.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Tian C, Hinds DA, Shigeta R, Adler SG, Lee A, Pahl MV et al. A genomewide single-nucleotide-polymorphism panel for Mexican American admixture mapping. Am J Hum Genet 2007; 80: 1014–1023.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. Altshuler D, Brooks LD, Chakravarti A, Collins FS, Daly MJ, Donnelly P . A haplotype map of the human genome. Nature 2005; 437: 1299–1320.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Tian C, Hinds DA, Shigeta R, Kittles R, Ballinger DG, Seldin MF . A genomewide single-nucleotide-polymorphism panel with high ancestry information for African American admixture mapping. Am J Hum Genet 2006; 79: 640–649.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  16. Falush D, Stephens M, Pritchard JK . Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data: linked loci and correlated allele frequencies. Genetics 2003; 164: 1567–1587.

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. Tan EM, Cohen AS, Fries JF, Masi AT, McShane DJ, Rothfield NF et al. The 1982 revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1982; 25: 1271–1277.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Hochberg MC . Updating the American College of Rheumatology revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Rheum 1997; 40: 1725.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Hoggart CJ, Parra EJ, Shriver MD, Bonilla C, Kittles RA, Clayton DG et al. Control of confounding of genetic associations in stratified populations. Am J Hum Genet 2003; 72: 1492–1504.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  20. Gladman D, Ginzler E, Goldsmith C, Fortin P, Liang M, Urowitz M et al. Systemic lupus international collaborative clinics: development of a damage index in systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol 1992; 19: 1820–1821.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Martensson U, Sjoholm AG, Sturfelt G, Truedsson L, Laurell AB . Western blot analysis of human IgG reactive with the collagenous portion of C1q: evidence of distinct binding specificities. Scand J Immunol 1992; 35: 735–744.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Fernandez M, Calvo-Alen J, Bertoli AM, Bastian HM, Fessler BJ, McGwin Jr G et al. Systemic lupus erythematosus in a multiethnic US cohort (LUMINA L II): relationship between vascular events and the use of hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women. J Clin Rheumatol 2007; 13: 261–265.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Vila LM, Alarcon GS, McGwin Jr G, Friedman AW, Baethge BA, Bastian HM et al. Early clinical manifestations, disease activity and damage of systemic lupus erythematosus among two distinct US Hispanic subpopulations. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2004; 43: 358–363.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Morton RO, Gershwin ME, Brady C, Steinberg AD . The incidence of systemic lupus erythematosus in North American Indians. J Rheumatol 1976; 3: 186–190.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Reddy MV, Velazauez-Cruz R, Baca V, Lima G, Granados J, Orozco L et al. Genetic association of IRF5 with SLE in Mexicans: higher frequency of risk haplotype and its homozygosity than Europeans. Hum Genet 2007; 121: 721–727.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Seldin MF . Admixture mapping as a tool in gene discovery. Curr Opin Genet Dev 2007; 17: 177–181.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references


The genome-wide scan was financed by MerckSerono Inc. (former Serono Genetics Institute). This study was supported by NIH Grant AR050267, the Swedish Research Council, the King Gustaf V Jubilee Fund (är det 80-årsfonden eller jubileumsfonden), the Swedish Association against Rheumatism, the Marcus Borgström Foundation, the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundation and a Swedish International Development Agency grant. MEAR is supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation through the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. We thank Adriana I Scollo, Armando M Perichon and Mariano CR Tenaglia (CEDIM, Diagnóstico Molecular y Forense SRL, Rosario, Argentina) for their help in preparing the Argentinean samples.

Other participants from Argentina were: Dr Juan C Marcos and Dr Ana I Marcos (Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos General San Martín, La Plata); Dr Jorge A Lopez and Dr Estela L Motta (Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos ‘Dr Oscar Alende’, Mar del Plata); Dr José L Presas (Hospital General de Agudos Dr Juán A Fernandez, Buenos Aires); Dr Guillermo Tate (Organización Médica de Investigación, Buenos Aires); Dr Susana Roverano and Dr Carlos Louteiro (Hospital José M Cullen, Santa Fe); Dr Fernando A Ramos and Dr Sandra Navarro (Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Provincial de Rosario, Rosario); Dr Alicia Eimon (Centro de Educación Médica e Investigaciones Clínicas (CEMIC), Buenos Aires); Dr Sandra Buliubasich and Dr Emilia Menso (Servicio de Reumatología de la UHMI 1, Hospital Nacional de Clínicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba); Dr Alejandro Alvarellos, Dr Francisco Caeiro and Dr Ana Bertoli (Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Privado, Centro Medico de Córdoba, Córdoba); Dr Cesar Caprarulo and Dr Griselda Buchanan (Hospital Felipe Heras, Concordia); Dr Estela Bertero (Hospital San Martín, Paraná, Entre Ríos); Dr Sebastian Grimaudo and Dr Jorge A Manni (Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas ‘Alfredo Lanari’, Buenos Aires); Dr Marisa Jorfen and Dr Elisa J Romero (Servicio de Reumatología Hospital Escuela Eva Perón. Granadero Baigorria, Rosario); Dr Mariela Bearzotti (Facultad de Ciencias Medicas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario y Hospital Provincial del Centenario, Rosario); Dr Enrique R Soriano and Dr Carlos D Santos (Sección Reumatología, Servicio de Clínica Medica, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires y Fundación Dr Pedro M Catoggio para el Progreso de la Reumatología, Buenos Aires); and Dr Carlos A Battagliotti (Sanatorio Parque, Rosario). Bernardo Pons-Estel is the coordinator of the Argentine Collaborative Group.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to M E Alarcon-Riquelme.

Additional information

Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on Genes and Immunity website (

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Seldin, M., Qi, L., Scherbarth, H. et al. Amerindian ancestry in Argentina is associated with increased risk for systemic lupus erythematosus. Genes Immun 9, 389–393 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • admixture
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • autoimmunity

This article is cited by


Quick links