Schizophrenia and HLA: No association with PCR-SSOP typed classical loci in a large Irish familial sample

Ziarih Hawi, Stephanie Gibson, Richard E. Straub, Dermot Walsh, Kenneth S. Kendler, Michael Gill

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Susceptibility to autoimmunity is strongly influence by genes clustered in the MHC region, particularly class I and class II antigens. It has been proposed that there is an immune component in the aetiology of schizophrenia, and the distribution of human leukocyte antigens (HLA) in schizophrenic patients and controls has been investigated in numerous studies. Positive associations have been reported between schizophrenia and the HLA-A1, A2, A9, B5, Cw4, and DR8 and negative associations with HLA-DR4 and HLA-DQβ*0602. Small sample size, variable diagnostic methodology, unreliable laboratory and statistical procedures, and possible mismatching of cases and controls may have contributed to a lack of consistency of results to date. Therefore, in this investigation we used a large and carefully diagnosed homogeneous Irish familial schizophrenic sample compared with ethnically matched controls. All alleles were determined using polymerase chain reaction amplification followed by short specific oligoprobes. We found no evidence of association with 80 HLA alleles (some previously not examined) from 4 genes. Our data therefore do not support the involvement of these classical HLA loci in the aetiology of schizophrenia at least in these Irish families. The remaining classical HLA loci (HLA-B and HLA-C) should be typed when reliable DNA-based methods become available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-429
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Association
  • Genes
  • Human leukocyte antigens (HLA)
  • Schizophrenia

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