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July 2008 Off the Wire . . .



News Article 02raw

CCL genes in multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Story Provided by : Boston Cure
Article Date: 02 Jul 2008

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.  

This 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 this haplotype.

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