The situation is complicated by tight genetic associations across the region, including the adjacent CFH-related genes CFHR3 and CFHR1, which may themselves influence the alternative complement pathway and are contained within a common deletion (CNP147) which is associated with protection against AMD.
Copy number variations in regulators of complement activation genes (CFHR1 and CFHR3) and glutathione S transferase genes (GSTM1 and GSTT1) have been associated with AMD, and several additional loci have been identified as regions of potential interest but require further evaluation.
However, significant association was identified for the CFHR3-1 deletion in AMD cases (p = 2.38 × 10(-12)) OR = 0.31, CI-0.95 (0.23-0.44), for both neovascular disease (nAMD) (p = 8.3 × 10(-9)) OR = 0.36 CI-0.95 (0.25-0.52) and geographic atrophy (GA) (p = 1.5 × 10(-6)) OR = 0.36 CI-0.95 (0.25-0.52) compared to controls.
Subsequently, genetic studies revealed highly significant statistical associations between AMD and variants of several complement pathway-associated genes including: Complement factor H (CFH), complement factor H-related 1 and 3 (CFHR1 and CFHR3), complement factor B (CFB), complement component 2 (C2), and complement component 3 (C3).
This study showed that CFH was more likely to be AMD susceptibility gene at Chr.1q31 based on the finding that the CFHR1 and CFHR3 deletion was not polymorphic in the cohort of this study, and none of the SNPs that were significantly associated with AMD in a white population in C2, CFB, and C3 genes showed a significant association with AMD.