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Narcolepsy risk loci outline role of T cell autoimmunity and infectious triggers in narcolepsy

Narcolepsy type 1 (NT1) is caused by a loss of hypocretin/orexin transmission. Risk factors include pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza A infection and immunization with Pandemrix®. Here, we dissect disease mechanisms and interactions with environmental triggers in a multi-ethnic sample of 6,073 cases and 84,856 controls. We fine-mapped GWAS signals within HLA (DQ0602, DQB1*03:01 and DPB1*04:02) and discovered seven novel associations (CD207, NAB1, IKZF4-ERBB3, CTSC, DENND1B, SIRPG, PRF1). Significant signals at TRA and DQB1*06:02 loci were found in 245 vaccination-related cases, who also shared polygenic risk. T cell receptor associations in NT1 modulated TRAJ*24, TRAJ*28 and TRBV*4-2 chain-usage. Partitioned heritability and immune cell enrichment analyses found genetic signals to be driven by dendritic and helper T cells. Lastly comorbidity analysis using data from FinnGen, suggests shared effects between NT1 and other autoimmune diseases. NT1 genetic variants shape autoimmunity and response to environmental triggers, including influenza A infection and immunization with Pandemrix®.

Authors: Ollila, Hanna M;Crowe, Catherine;Mignot, Emmanuel J;et al.

Nat Commun. 2023 May 15;14(1):2709. Epub 2023-05-15.

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