Atopic dermatitis (often called ecszema) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory skin condition affecting as much as one-fifth of children and 1-3% of adults in industrialized countries. Those with the condition have skin that reacts easily to the environment and becomes flaky and itchy. While treatment can alleviate some of these symptoms, current techniques remain ineffective in many cases, due in part to a limited scientific understanding of the origins of the condition.
The research group set out to shed light on these origins using a genome-wide association study (GWAS), an approach which identifies gene loci associated with a particular trait. With its strong genetic basis, atopic dermatitis is well suited to the GWAS approach. Three previous GWAS on European and Chinese populations identified 7 loci associated with the condition, but no such studies have been conducted on Japanese people.
To fill this gap, the group conducted a thorough GWAS on 1472 subjects with atopic dermatitis and 7971 controls from among the Japanese population, and then validated their results in a separate study on 1856 subjects with atopic dermatitis and 7021 controls. Analyzing a total of roughly 600,000 genetic variants (called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs), they identified 8 new genetic regions associated with atopic dermatitis and confirmed the 7 loci observed in earlier studies. Among these regions, they identified variants at the IL1RL1/IL18R1/IL18RAP and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci, both of which have been associated with bronchial asthma in recent GWAS.
The group's findings thus suggest that atopic dermatitis and asthma have overlapping susceptibility regions, and thus that these regions contain common genetic factors for many allergic diseases. Other loci reveal a wide variety of additional factors possibly involved in the condition, suggesting paths for future research and pointing the way to more effective treatment techniques.
Tomomitsu Hirota, et al. "Genome-wide association study identifies eight new susceptibility loci for atopic dermatitis in the Japanese population." Nature Genetics, 2012, DOI: 10.1038/ng.2438
RIKEN is Japan's flagship research institute devoted to basic and applied research. Over 2500 papers by RIKEN researchers are published every year in reputable scientific and technical journals, covering topics ranging across a broad spectrum of disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology, medical science and engineering. RIKEN's advanced research environment and strong emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration has earned itself an unparalleled reputation for scientific excellence in Japan and around the world.
Reach us on twitter: @rikenresearch
RIKEN Global Relations Office | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy