Three Novel Multiple Sclerosis Susceptibility Loci Identified

Meta-analysis of 5,545 patients with MS identifies rs170934T, rs2150702G, and rs6718520A

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Three novel multiple sclerosis (MS) genetic susceptibility loci have been identified, according to a meta-analysis published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Nikolaos A. Patsopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues investigated MS susceptibility and explored the functional consequences of novel susceptibility loci. They performed a one-stage meta-analysis of seven genome-wide association studies involving 2,529,394 unique single nucleotide polymorphisms obtained from 5,545 patients with MS and 12,153 controls. Quantitative trait analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 228 individuals with demyelinating disease were used to explore RNA expression data.

The researchers identified three novel susceptibility alleles: rs170934T on chromosome 3p24.1 (odds ratio [OR], 1.17), rs2150702G on chromosome 9p24.1 (OR, 1.16), and rs6718520A on chromosome 2p21 (OR, 1.17). There was no strong cis effect on RNA expression in PMBCs associated with these loci. Suggestive associations were seen in 10 additional loci.

"These results extend the list of loci associated with MS from earlier genome scans and confirm theoretical predictions that increasing sample sizes will lead to additional discoveries given the magnitude of effect seen for non-major histocompatibility complex MS susceptibility loci," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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