A role for the immune system in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's Disease (PD) has previously been suggested. A recent genome-wide association (GWA) study identified an association between one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) region (HLA-DRA rs3129882) and PD in a population of American patients with European ancestry. In that study, the minor rs3129882 allele (G) was associated with an increased risk of PD under an additive model. Due to the increased likelihood of obtaining false positive results in GWA studies compared to studies conducted based on a hypothesis-driven approach, repeated validation of findings from GWA studies are necessary. Herein, we evaluated the association between rs3129882 and PD in three different Caucasian patient-control series (combined 1313 patients and 1305 controls) from the US, Ireland, and Poland. We observed no association (OR: 0.96, P = 0.50) between rs3129882 and PD when analyzing our data under an additive or dominant model. In contrast, when examined under a recessive model, the GG genotype was observed to be protective in the Irish (OR: 0.55, P = 0.008), Polish (OR: 0.67, P = 0.040) and combined (OR: 0.75, P = 0.006) patient-control series. In view of these diverging results, the exact role of genetic variation at the HLA region and susceptibility to PD remains to be resolved.
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