Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine (OPLL) is a common musculoskeletal disease among people after middle age. The OPLL presents with serious neurological abnormalities due to compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. The OPLL is caused by genetic and environment factors; however, its etiology and pathogenesis still remain to be elucidated. To determine the susceptibility loci for OPLL, we performed a genome-wide linkage study using 214 affected sib-pairs of Japanese. In stratification analyses for definite cervical OPLL, we found loci with suggestive linkage on 1p21, 2p22-2p24, 7q22, 16q24 and 20p12. Fine mapping using additional markers detected the highest non-parametric linkage score (3.43, P = 0.00027) at D20S894 on chromosome 20p12 in a subgroup that had no complication of diabetes mellitus. Our result would shed a new light on genetic aspects of OPLL.
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