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Astrīda Krūmiņa, Liāna Pliss, Gunita Zariņa, Agrita Puzuka, Agnese Zariņa, Baiba Lāce, Didzis Elferts, Andrey Khrunin, Svetlana Limborska, Jānis Kloviņš and Linda Gailīte Piekuse

Abstract

This article presents a review on population genetics of Latvians, which alongside Lithuanians are the two extant Baltic speaking populations. The article provides a description of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data and contains a comparative analysis of the results of studies performed on classical autosomal genetic markers, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the non-recombining part of the Y chromosome (NRY), with data on neighbouring populations. The study also covers data of recently performed ancient DNA (aDNA) studies carried out on samples from the territory of today’s Latvia. The results of population genetic studies have shown a mixture of eastern and western genetic traits in present-day Latvians with only small differences between Latvian subpopulations. Studies of the Baltic “tribal gene” LWb, as well as the gene’s SERPINA1 allele PIZ have indicated the presence of a considerable Baltic admixture in the neighbouring Finno-Ugric and Slavic populations. Although mtDNA analyses have shown that Latvians genetically in general belong to the same common gene pool as most of the Europeans, the Y-chromosomal lineage composition suggests that they are most similar to Northern and Eastern European populations of Lithuanians, Estonians, and Eastern-Slavic populations, which are ethnogenetically closest to them. The analysis of aDNA from the Early and Middle Neolithic did not present any genomic evidence of gene-flow from Central European farmers or any mitochondrial or Y-chromosomal haplogroups that are typical for them in the hunter-gatherers from the territory of today’s Latvia and Lithuania.

Open access

Georgijs Moisejevs, Linda Gailīte, Sergejs Isajevs, Liene Ņikitina-Zaķe, Inga Kempa, Dainius Jančiauskas, Ilze Ķikuste, Armands Sīviņš, Guntis Ancāns and Mārcis Leja

Abstract

Histamine has an important role in the process of the gastric mucosa inflammation acting via histamine receptor H2 (encoded by the gene HRH2). Single nucleotide polymorphism of the enhancer element of HRH2 gene promoter rs2067474 (1018G>A)may be associated with changes of expression of the receptor. We attempted to clarify the association of this polymorphism with gastric cancer and/or atrophic gastritis in the Latvian (Caucasian) population. The study group consisted of 121 gastric cancer patients and 650 patients with no evidence of gastric neoplasia on upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Genotyping for rs2067474 was performed with the TaqMan probe-based system using a commercially available probe for RT-PCR. The frequency of the A allele in the gastric cancer group was 0.41% and in the control group — 1.54% (p = 0.231). No significant differences were found comparing genotypes between gastric cancer versus control patients (OR = 0.236, CI95% = 0.030–1.896), patients with (n = 165) versus without (n = 485) gastric metaplastic lesions (OR = 0.854, CI95% = 0.288–2.540) and patients with (n = 297) and without (n = 353) gastric atrophic lesions (OR = 1.145, CI95% = 0.451–2.906). Our findings suggest that the HRH2 -1018G>A polymorphism (rs2067474) is neither associated with gastric cancer nor the grade of atrophic gastritis in the Latvian (Caucasian) population.