The Lutheran blood group is a type of blood group that contains specific antigens, or or molecules that are expressed on the surface of red blood cells, called Lu antigens. There are 18 different types of Lu antigen, 2 of which are called Lu a and Lu b. All of these antigens are controlled by a gene called the BCAM gene. Our genes are what control the growth, development and function of our bodies. If a mistake or error occurs in a gene, it can cause problems. Problems may arise when individuals do not express the Lu a or the Lu b antigen. This can occur for three different reasons.
First, another gene known as the Lutheran inhibitor, or In(Lu), can prevent the expression (function) of the normal Lutheran antigen. This form of the condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Autosomal dominant means an individual only needs one copy of the changed gene or mutation that causes the condition. Usually, a rare condition like this is inherited from one parent. If one parent is a carrier for the mutated gene, children have a 50% chance of having the condition.
Second, an individual can have a gene mutation that causes them to have Lu-null red blood cells, or red blood cells that do not have the Lu a or Lu b antigen.
The third way this condition can occur is due to another gene called XS2 that can also prevent the Lu a and Lu b antigens from being present. This form of the condition is inherited in an X-linked recessive manner. Females have two X chromosomes, XX. Males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, XY. X-linked recessive means that for a female to have the condition, both of their X chromosomes must have the mutation. For a male to get the disease, they just need one X chromosome with the mutation since they only have one X chromosome.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with this condition, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options.
Description Last Updated: Feb 06, 2018