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!
Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy