Investigation of linkage and association/linkage disequilibrium of HLA A-, DQA1-, DQB1-, and DRB1-alleles in 69 sib-pair- and 89 trio-families with schizophrenia



The hypothesis that HLA antigens confer susceptibility to schizophrenic disorders has been tested by studying linkage and association in a family sample with 69 sib-pair families. Suggestive evidence for linkage was obtained by nonparametric multipoint LOD score analysis with a maximum around DQB CAR (P = 0.0004), a microsatellite marker that is in linkage disequilibrium with the HLA antigen DQB1. Spurious evidence for negative association as calculated by the transmission disequilibrium test was found for HLA- DRB1*11 (chi-square = 11.72, corrected P value = 0.03) and for the haplotype DQB1*301—DQA1*501—DRB1*11 (chi-square = 11.3, corrected P value = 0.043). No evidence of association with these alleles was obtained in a sample of 89 trios with schizophrenic offspring and parents. Our results are not in favor of a direct involvement of the HLA system in development of schizophrenia, but are compatible with the possible existence of a susceptibility gene in the MHC region at chromosome 6p 21.31. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.