IgA nephropathy in Blacks: Studies of IgA2 allotypes and clinical course. The prevalence of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) varies among racial groups, being most common among Caucasians and Orientals and rare in Blacks. Other investigators have hypothesized that the risk for IgAN may be influenced by the IgA2 allotype. It has been suggested that the rare Black patients with IgAN may be homozygous for the A2m(1) allele which predominates in Whites, but is less common in Blacks. In a multicenter study, 27 Black IgAN patients were enrolled to investigate this hypothesis and analyze the clinical course of disease in Blacks. The IgA2 allotypes of 18 Black patients and 14 controls were determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Three patients were homozygous for the A2m(1) allele, four were homozygous for A2m(2) and II were heterozygous. The respective allelic frequencies of A2m(1) and A2m(2) were 0.47 and 0.53 and did not differ significantly from Black controls. Most clinical manifestations of disease did not significantly dififer with respect to distribution of the two alleles, although the gender ratio differed between the homozygous A2m(1) and heterozygous patients. The presence of the A2m(1) allele did not increase the risk for IgAN, and the presence of the A2m(2) allele or homozygosity for this allele did not protect Blacks from the development of IgAN.