We aimed to investigate the association between polymorphisms located in type I interferon (IFN)-induced genes, genes belonging to the toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway, and genes encoding neurotransmitter receptors and the response to IFN-β treatment in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
In a first or screening phase of the study, 384 polymorphisms were genotyped in 830 patients with MS classified into IFN-β responders (n = 416) and nonresponders (n = 414) according to clinical criteria. In a second or validation phase, the most significant polymorphisms associated with IFN-β response were genotyped in an independent validation cohort of 555 patients with MS (281 IFN-β responders and 274 nonresponders).
Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected from the screening phase for further validation: rs832032 (GABRR3; p = 0.0006), rs6597 (STUB1; p = 0.019), rs3747517 (IFIH1; p = 0.010), rs2277302 (PELI3; p = 0.017), rs10958713 (IKBKB; p = 0.003), rs2834202 (IFNAR1; p = 0.030), and rs4422395 (CXCL1; p = 0.017). None of these SNPs were significantly associated with IFN-β response when genotyped in an independent cohort of patients. Combined analysis of these SNPs in all patients with MS (N = 1,385) revealed 2 polymorphisms associated with IFN-β response: rs2277302 (PELI3; p = 0.008) and rs832032 (GABRR3; p = 0.006).
These findings do not support an association between polymorphisms located in genes related to the type I IFN or TLR pathways or genes encoding neurotransmitter receptors and the clinical response to IFN-β. Nevertheless, additional genetic and functional studies of PELI3 and GABRR3 are warranted.