Genetic researchers in Syracuse, NY have identified gene variants that may
affect severity of MS. They were trying to confirm previous findings that
linked genes in the CCL cluster on chromosome 17 with a higher risk of MS,
but those results couldn't be replicated. However, when they analyzed the
data for severity, they found variants in the CCL8 gene that were more
frequent in subjects with "severe" MS compared with subjects with "mild"
MS. CCL genes play a role in the immune response, so these results suggest
that factors that influence immune responses may also influence the severity of MS.
study is of particular interest to us at Accelerated Cure Project
because the samples used included DNA samples from our sample and
data repository. In fact, this is the first published journal
article that mentions our repository as a source of samples. We
expect there will be many more!
This follow up study aims to refine the roles of previously
suggested candidate genes (CC chemokine ligands or CCLs) in multiple sclerosis
(MS), and to test these markers in another autoimmune disorder, systemic lupus
erythematosus (SLE). After stringent correction for multiple testing, we reject
the importance of previously suggested borderline associations with CCLs in MS.
A new finding is the differential distribution of CCL8 marker alleles and a
haplotype in extreme severity subgroups of MS. In SLE, this study reveals strong
associations with a marker and a haplotype encompassing the CCL14 gene, which
suggests that a lupus relevant variant may lie within or in the proximity of