Closing the case of APOE in multiple sclerosis: No association with disease risk in over 29 000 subjects

Christina M. Lill, Tian Liu, Brit Maren M. Schjeide, Johannes T. Roehr, Denis A. Akkad, Vincent Damotte, Antonio Alcina, Miguel A. Ortiz, Rafa Arroyo, Paul Blaschke, Alexander Winkelmann, Lisa Ann Gerdes, Felix Luessi, Oscar Fernadez, Guillermo Izquierdo, Alfredo Antigüedad, Sabine Hoffjan, Isabelle Cournu-Rebeix, Silvana Gromöller, Hans FaberMaria Liebsch, Esther Meissner, Coralie Chanvillard, Emmanuel Touze, Fernando Pico, Philippe Corcia, Australian and New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (ANZgene), Mark Slee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs429358 (ε4) and rs7412 (ε2), both invoking changes in the amino-acid sequence of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, have previously been tested for association with multiple sclerosis (MS) risk. However, none of these studies was sufficiently powered to detect modest effect sizes at acceptable type-I error rates. As both SNPs are only imperfectly captured on commonly used microarray genotyping platforms, their evaluation in the context of genome-wide association studies has been hindered until recently. Methods: We genotyped 12 740 subjects hitherto not studied for their APOE status, imputed raw genotype data from 8739 subjects from five independent genomewide association studies datasets using the most recent high-resolution reference panels, and extracted genotype data for 8265 subjects from previous candidate gene assessments. Results: Despite sufficient power to detect associations at genome-wide significance thresholds across a range of ORs, our analyses did not support a role of rs429358 or rs7412 on MS susceptibility. This included meta-analyses of the combined data across 13 913 MS cases and 15 831 controls (OR=0.95, p=0.259, and OR 1.07, p=0.0569, for rs429358 and rs7412, respectively). Conclusion: Given the large sample size of our analyses, it is unlikely that the two APOE missense SNPs studied here exert any relevant effects on MS susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-562
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Genetics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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