Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New progress from a ‘joint’ venture

21.06.2010
The discovery of novel risk factors for osteoarthritis illuminates a probable role for the immune system in the pathology of this joint disorder

The debilitating knee, hip, wrist or back pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) is commonplace within diverse populations around the world and represents a broadly recognized hallmark of old age, yet remarkably little is known about the origins of this disease.

Most evidence suggests that OA arises from a mix of genetic and environmental factors, but researchers of this disease, including Shiro Ikegawa of the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine in Tokyo, have found it a considerable challenge to uncover risk factor genes. “It is our long-standing dream to know the ‘real cause’ of this disease,” says Ikegawa, “but it has proven very difficult.”

Advances in techniques for genomic analysis have now enabled his group and a team of collaborators from across Japan and Europe to achieve an important breakthrough on this front1. They screened over 4,000 Japanese individuals—906 with OA of the knee, and 3,396 unaffected control subjects—in an effort to identify genome sequence variations that exhibit a statistically significant association with this condition. Of fifteen candidates identified in this initial search, two of these ‘single nucleotide polymorphisms’ (SNPs) warranted further close scrutiny.

Unexpectedly, the researchers found that both of these SNPs are located within a region of chromosome 6 containing numerous genes involved in the immune response: the rs7775228 variation occurs near genes that help instruct immune cells to ignore host proteins, while rs10947262 falls within a gene that controls T cell activation. “OA has long been thought of as having only limited association with immunological abnormalities,” explains Ikegawa, “but it turns out this is not the case.” These results are also in keeping with a handful of recent studies that have hinted at an inflammatory component of OA pathology.

Intriguingly, the team noted that simultaneous variations at both sites were more significantly associated with OA among Japanese subjects than either of the two SNPs individually. On the other hand, the disease association of this particular combination of SNPs—also known as a ‘haplotype’—was less notable among a European sample group.

Many more risk factors likely remain to be discovered—including some that may be specific to OA affecting individual body parts—and Ikegawa and colleagues are now moving on to larger scale association studies to characterize additional genes. He adds that such efforts are only a beginning. “Association is just statistics,” he says. “After finding associations, we need to prove functionality of the genes and SNPs to achieve our final goal of treating OA.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the Laboratory for Bone and Joint Disease, RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine

Journal information

1. Nakajima, M., Takahashi, A., Kou, I., Rodriguez-Fontenla, C., Gomez-Reino, J.J., Furuichi, T., Dai, J., Sudo, A., Uchida, A., Fukui, N. et al. New sequence variants in HLA Class II/III region associated with susceptibility to knee osteoarthritis identified by genome-wide association study. PLoS ONE 5, e9723 (2010)

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

Further reports about: Medicine SNP genomic immune cell risk factor single nucleotide polymorphism

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells

19.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>