Background and Aims Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has familial aggregation in African Americans (AAs), but little is known about the molecular genetic susceptibility. Mapping studies using the Immunochip genotyping array expand the number of susceptibility loci for IBD in Caucasians to 163, but the contribution of the 163 loci and European admixture to IBD risk in AAs is unclear. We performed a genetic mapping study using the Immunochip to determine whether IBD susceptibility loci in Caucasians also affect risk in AAs and identify new associated loci. Methods We recruited AAs with IBD and without IBD (controls) from 34 IBD centers in the United States; additional controls were collected from 4 other Immunochip studies. Association and admixture loci were mapped for 1088 patients with Crohn's disease, 361 with ulcerative colitis, 62 with IBD type unknown, and 1797 controls; 130,241 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analyzed. Results The strongest associations were observed between ulcerative colitis and HLA rs9271366 (P = 7.5 × 10-6), Crohn's disease and 5p13.1 rs4286721 (P = 3.5 × 10-6), and IBD and KAT2A rs730086 (P = 2.3 × 10-6). Additional suggestive associations (P < 4.2 × 10-5) were observed between Crohn's disease and IBD and African-specific SNPs in STAT5A and STAT3; between IBD and SNPs in IL23R, IL12B, and C2orf43; and between ulcerative colitis and SNPs near HDAC11 and near LINC00994. The latter 3 loci have not been previously associated with IBD, but require replication. Established Caucasian associations were replicated in AAs (P < 3.1 × 10-4) at NOD2, IL23R, 5p15.3, and IKZF3. Significant admixture (P < 3.9 × 10-4) was observed for 17q12-17q21.31 (IZKF3 through STAT3), 10q11.23-10q21.2, 15q22.2-15q23, and 16p12.2-16p12.1. Network analyses showed significant enrichment (false discovery rate <1 × 10-5) in genes that encode members of the JAK-STAT, cytokine, and chemokine signaling pathways, as well those involved in pathogenesis of measles. Conclusions In a genetic analysis of 3308 AA IBD cases and controls, we found that many variants associated with IBD in Caucasians also showed association evidence with these diseases in AAs; we also found evidence for variants and loci not previously associated with IBD. The complex genetic factors that determine risk for or protection against IBD in different populations require further study.
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