Swedish led disease study identifies possible culprit genes
Two genes with very strong associations with the disease SLE have been identified by a team of scientists headed by researchers at the Department of Medical Sciences at Uppsala University. The findings are being published yesterday on the Web page of the highly prestigious American Journal of Human Genetics.
SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) is a disease of the rheumatic system that primarily affects fertile women. There are some 5,000 patients in Sweden, and among them most organs can become inflamed. The cause is the reaction of the body’s own immune system against the patient’s own tissue, and SLE is seen as a prototype for so-called autoimmune disease.
“These findings are probably the first genetic pieces of a huge ‘interferon puzzle,’ with whose help it will be possible to discover the mechanisms behind the disease SLE, and maybe other autoimmune diseases at the molecular level,” says Professor Lars Rönnblom.
“It is remarkable that by studying only eleven of the some 200 genes that are seen as belonging to the interferon system, we were able to identify two genes with such clear connection to SLE,” says Professor Ann-Christine Syvänen.
Besides the Rheumatology Clinic at Uppsala Akademiska Hospital, hospitals in Umeå and Lund, in Sweden, and several hospitals in Finland as well as one hospital in Reykjavik provided the project with DNA samples and diagnostic information from SLE patients.
Read the article here.
News Source: EurekAlert