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Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation in multiple sclerosis.

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To assess the influence of common mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation on multiple sclerosis (MS) risk in cases and controls part of an international consortium.


We analyzed 115 high-quality mtDNA variants and common haplogroups from a previously published genome-wide association study among 7,391 cases from the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium and 14,568 controls from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 project from 7 countries. Significant single nucleotide polymorphism and haplogroup associations were replicated in 3,720 cases and 879 controls from the University of California, San Francisco.


An elevated risk of MS was detected among haplogroup JT carriers from 7 pooled clinic sites (odds ratio [OR] = 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.07-1.24, p = 0.0002) included in the discovery study. The increased risk of MS was observed for both haplogroup T (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.06-1.29, p = 0.002) and haplogroup J carriers (OR = 1.11, 95% CI = 1.01-1.22, p = 0.03). These haplogroup associations with MS were not replicated in the independent sample set. An elevated risk of primary progressive (PP) MS was detected for haplogroup J participants from 3 European discovery populations (OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.10-2.01, p = 0.009). This elevated risk was borderline significant in the US replication population (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 0.99-2.08, p = 0.058) and remained significant in pooled analysis of discovery and replication studies (OR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.14-1.81, p = 0.002). No common individual mtDNA variants were associated with MS risk.


Identification and validation of mitochondrial genetic variants associated with MS and PPMS may lead to new targets for treatment and diagnostic tests for identifying potential responders to interventions that target mitochondria.

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