Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Is schizophrenia an HLA-associated disease?

Peter McGuffina1 c1

a1 Maudsley Hospital, London


Certain specificities of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system have been shown to be associated with particular diseases. A review of recent studies in schizophrenia shows inconsistent results for schizophrenia as a whole, although a significant increase in HLA A28 remains on combining the data. There are more consistent findings for disease subtypes. In particular, HLA A9 and HLA CW4 are increased in paranoid schizophrenics, while HLA Al and the A1–B8 haplotype are increased in nuclear forms. It is postulated that the relationship between the schizophrenias and certain HLA types could be due to an influence of the latter upon neuronal postsynaptic membrane sensitivity to central neurotransmitters such as dopamine.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Peter McGuffin, The Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AZ.