Background: Both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) have a complex etiology involving multiple genetic and environmental factors. Many genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and subsequent replication studies revealed that both diseases share some of the susceptibility loci; however, common genetic factors for both diseases are not fully elucidated. This study is aimed to identify the common genetic factors for CD and UC by a meta-analysis of published studies. Methods: We first reviewed the 10 GWAS for CD to select candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Next, we performed a PubMed literature search up to June 30, 2010 and carried out a systemic review of published studies that examined the association of CD susceptibility loci in UC patients. Meta-analysis was carried out using the inverse variance-weighted method or the DerSimonian-Laird method after estimating the heterogeneity among the studies. The data for highly linked SNPs were combined. Finally, we performed a meta-analysis of 43 published studies in 45 SNPs located at 33 loci by using a total of 4852 to 31,125 subjects. Results: We confirmed the association of 17 reported common susceptibility loci. Moreover, we found associations at eight additional loci: GCKR, ATG16L1, CDKAL1, ZNF365, LRRK2-MUC19, C13orf31, PTPN2, and SBNO2. The genetic risk of each locus was modest (odds ratios ranged from 1.05-1.22) except IL23R. Conclusions: These results indicate that CD and UC share many susceptibility loci with small genetic effect. Our data provide further understanding of the common pathogenesis between CD and UC.
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