Interaction between adolescent obesity and HLA risk genes in the etiology of MS

MS genetics:
This study looked at the possible interaction between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype and body mass index (BMI) in relation to the risk of developing MS in two case-control studies.

One of the cohorts included incident cases (1,510 cases, 2.017 controls), while the other included prevalent cases (937 cases, 609 controls). Using logistical regression to calculate the odd ratios (ORs), different genotypes and BMI were compared in relation to the incidence of MS.

They found that both cohorts demonstrated a significant interaction between HLA-DRB1*15 and obesity, irrespective of HLA-A*02 status. There was also a significant interaction between the absence of A*02 and obesity, regardless of DRB1*15 status. In the incident cohort, individuals with a high BMI and with the most susceptible genotype (carriage of DRB1*15 and absence of A*02) had an OR of 16.2 compared to individuals with a normal BMI without the genetic risk factors.

Therefore this study demonstrates interactions between BMI status and HLA genotype. This raises the questions that the prevention of adolescent obesity may lower the risk of developing MS in those individuals with a genetic susceptibility of the disease.

Authors: Hedström AK, Lima Bomfim I
Source: Neurology. 2014 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]
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