Genome-wide study identifies eight new susceptibility loci for atopic dermatitis

October 7, 2012
This shows eight new loci associated with susceptibility to atopic dermatitis. Credit: RIKEN

Japanese researchers at the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM) and their colleagues have identified 8 new loci associated with susceptibility to atopic dermatitis in the Japanese population. The findings, which appear in the journal Nature Genetics, advance our understanding of the genetic basis of the skin disorder, which affects millions of children and adults around the world.

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 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 (HLA) loci, both of which have been associated with in recent GWAS.

The group's findings thus suggest that 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.

Explore further: Genome-wide study reveals 3 new susceptibility loci for adult asthma in Japanese population

More information: 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

Related Stories

Genome-wide study reveals 3 new susceptibility loci for adult asthma in Japanese population

July 31, 2011
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine (CGM), together with colleagues at Kyoto University, Tsukuba University, Harvard University, and other medical institutions have identified three new loci associated with ...

Perceived stress linked to asthma, atopic disorders

September 21, 2012
(HealthDay)—Perceived stress correlates with an increased risk of adult-onset asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis as well as asthma medication use, according to a study published online Sept. 3 in Allergy.

Pinpointing asthma susceptibility in Japanese adults

December 22, 2011
A team of geneticists has identified five specific gene regions associated with asthma susceptibility among Japanese adults. Mayumi Tamari of the RIKEN Center for Genomic Medicine, Yokohama, led the research.

Recommended for you

New clues to treat Alagille syndrome from zebrafish

October 18, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies potential new therapeutic avenues for patients with Alagille syndrome. The discovery, published in Nature Communications, ...

Genetic variants associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder identified

October 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found evidence of four genes that can be linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group ...

An architect gene is involved in the assimilation of breast milk

October 17, 2017
A family of "architect" genes called Hox coordinates the formation of organs and limbs during embryonic life. Geneticists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), ...

Study identifies genes responsible for diversity of human skin colors

October 12, 2017
Human populations feature a broad palette of skin tones. But until now, few genes have been shown to contribute to normal variation in skin color, and these had primarily been discovered through studies of European populations.

Genes critical for hearing identified

October 12, 2017
Fifty-two previously unidentified genes that are critical for hearing have been found by testing over 3,000 mouse genes. The newly discovered genes will provide insights into the causes of hearing loss in humans, say scientists ...

Team completes atlas of human DNA differences that influence gene expression

October 11, 2017
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have completed a detailed atlas documenting the stretches of human DNA that influence gene expression - a key way in which a person's genome gives rise to an observable ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.