Interleukin 3 and schizophrenia: the impact of sex and family history

X Chen, X Wang, S Hossain, F A O'Neill, D Walsh, E van den Oord, A Fanous, K S Kendler

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Chromosome 5q21-33 has been implicated in harboring risk genes for schizophrenia. In this paper, we report evidence that multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms in and around interleukin 3 (IL3) are associated with the disease in the Irish Study of High-Density Schizophrenia Families (ISHDSF), the Irish Case-Control Study of Schizophrenia (ICCSS) and the Irish Trio Study of Schizophrenia (ITRIO). The associations are sex-specific and depend on the family history (FH) of schizophrenia. In all three samples, rs31400 shows female-specific and FH-dependent associations (P=0.0062, 0.0647 and 0.0284 for the ISHDSF, ICCSS and ITRIO, respectively). Several markers have similar associations in one or two of the three samples. In haplotype analyses, identical risk and protective haplotypes are identified in the ISHDSF and ITRIO samples in several multimarker combinations. For ICCSS, the same haplotypes are implicated; however, the risk haplotypes observed in the family samples become protective. Several significant markers, rs440970, rs31400 and rs2069803, are located in and around known estrogen response elements, promoter and enhancer of the IL3 gene. They may explain the sex-specific associations and be functional for the expression of IL3 gene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-82
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-3
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sex Characteristics


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