Background & Aims: Collagenous colitis (CC) is an inflammatory bowel disorder with unknown etiopathogenesis involving HLA-related immune-mediated responses and environmental and genetic risk factors. We carried out an array-based genetic association study in a cohort of patients with CC and investigated the common genetic basis between CC and Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), and celiac disease. Methods: DNA from 804 CC formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples was genotyped with Illumina Immunochip. Matching genotype data on control samples and CD, UC, and celiac disease cases were provided by the respective consortia. A discovery association study followed by meta-analysis with an independent cohort, polygenic risk score calculation, and cross-phenotype analyses were performed. Enrichment of regulatory expression quantitative trait loci among the CC variants was assessed in hemopoietic and intestinal cells. Results: Three HLA alleles (HLA-B∗08:01, HLA-DRB1∗03:01, and HLA-DQB1∗02:01), related to the ancestral haplotype 8.1, were significantly associated with increased CC risk. We also identified an independent protective effect of HLA-DRB1∗04:01 on CC risk. Polygenic risk score quantifying the risk across multiple susceptibility loci was strongly associated with CC risk. An enrichment of expression quantitative trait loci was detected among the CC-susceptibility variants in various cell types. The cross-phenotype analysis identified a complex pattern of polygenic pleiotropy between CC and other immune-mediated diseases. Conclusions: In this largest genetic study of CC to date with histologically confirmed diagnosis, we strongly implicated the HLA locus and proposed potential non-HLA mechanisms in disease pathogenesis. We also detected a shared genetic risk between CC, celiac disease, CD, and UC, which supports clinical observations of comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-561.e8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Collagenous Colitis
  • Crohn's Disease
  • HLA
  • Immunochip


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