Association study of HLA-A gene and schizophrenia in Han Chinese from Taiwan

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Abstract

Dysregulation of the immune response has been proposed as a precipitating factor of schizophrenia, and human leukocyte antigens (HLA) play a critical role in regulating the cascade of immunological reaction. Hence, many studies have investigated the relationship between the HLA system and schizophrenia. HLA is a complex gene family that contains several highly polymorphic genes, while the HLA-A gene is the most often studied gene to be associated with schizophrenia in the literature. A recent study reported that the interaction of the HLA-A10 allele and Chlamydial infection was highly associated with schizophrenia in a German population, which prompted us to investigate whether the HLA-A gene was also associated with schizophrenia in our population. Using a sequencing-based HLA typing method, we determined the HLA-A genotypes in 377 Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (214 males, 163 females) and 321 non-psychotic Han Chinese control subjects (164 males, 157 females) from Taiwan. In total, 26 DNA-defined HLA-A alleles were identified in this sample. However, no significant differences of these allelic frequencies were found between the patients and the control subjects, suggesting that the HLA-A gene was unlikely a major risk factor of schizophrenia in this sample. As different populations have different HLA polymorphisms, an examination of the relationship of other HLA genes and schizophrenia in our population, with a larger sample size, is warranted in the future.

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