During investigation of HLA types among children exposed to diphenylhydantoin (DPH) in utero, we found no evidence of a distortion in haplotype sharing among affected sib pairs. Unexpectedly, however, we found a marked increase in the proportion of all sib pairs (not just affected ones) sharing maternal haplotypes. Among 14 two child families, 12 shared the maternal haplotype (expected would be seven); among families with more than two children the distortion was also pronounced. This finding, if verified in future studies, could indicate that something in the mothers, whether DPH use during pregnancy, or some genetic factor associated with seizures, or some effect of the seizures themselves, may be leading to non-random segregation of HLA haplotypes in their offspring.
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