Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a complex disorder with a polygenic, multifactorial aetiology. Twin studies have found the genetic contribution to be substantial. We collected and clinically characterised a sample consisting of 127 Danish nuclear families with at least two siblings suffering from AR or allergic conjunctivitis including 540 individuals (286 children and 254 parents). A whole-genome linkage scan, using 424 microsatellite markers, was performed on both this sample and an earlier collected sample consisting of 130 families with atopic dermatitis and other atopic disorders. A third sib-pair family sample, which was previously collected and genotyped, was added to the analysis increasing the total sample size to 357 families consisting of 1508 individuals. In total, 190 families with AR was included. The linkage analysis software Genehunter NPL, Genehunter MOD, and Genehunter Imprinting were used to obtain nonparametric and parametric linkage results. Family-based association analysis of positional candidate SNPs was carried out using the FBAT program. We obtained genome-wide significant linkage to a novel AR locus at 1p13 and suggestive linkage to two novel regions at 1q31-q32 and 20p12, respectively. Family-based association analysis of SNPs in the candidate locus DNND1B/CRB1 at 1q31 showed no significant association and could not explain the linkage signal observed. Suggestive evidence of linkage was also obtained at three AR loci previously reported (2q14-q23, 2q23, and 12p13) and indication of linkage was observed at a number of additional loci. Likely maternal imprinting was observed at 2q23, and possible maternal imprinting at 3q28.
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