Androgenetic alopecia (AGA, male pattern baldness) is the most common form of hair loss. The origin of AGA is genetic, with the X chromosome located androgen receptor gene (AR) being the only risk gene identified to date. We present the results of a genome-wide linkage study of 95 families and linkage fine mapping of the 3q21-q29, 11q14-q25, 18p11-q23, and 19p13-q13 regions in an extended sample of 125 families of German descent. The locus with strongest evidence for linkage was mapped to 3q26 with a nonparametric linkage (NPL) score of 3.97 (empirical p value = 0.00055). This is the first step toward the identification of new susceptibility genes in AGA, a process which will provide important insights into the molecular and cellular basis of scalp hair loss.
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