Gene helps confirm existence of psoriatic arthritis

March 2, 2015

Researchers identified genetic changes that affects psoriatic arthritis risk. Learn more on the findings

Researchers have identified genetic changes that increase psoriatic arthritis risk, but not psoriasis risk. The findings, they say, could eventually help to identify patients with psoriasis who are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis-even lead to treatments that prevent the disease.

READ: Final trial phase begins for drug’s plaque-psoriasis indication       

The study, published Feb 5, 2015, in Nature Communications, helps explain fundamental differences between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Opinions have been divided as to whether psoriatic arthritis is a disease, in itself. Nearly all people with psoriatic arthritis also have psoriasis, but only a third of patients with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, according to a University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, press release.

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Researchers making up a European consortium worked three years to discover genetic changes that had not yet been reported.  The study’s findings highlight that CD8+ cells are likely pivotal inflammation drivers in psoriatic arthritis, according to the study’s lead author John Bowers, Ph.D., a research associate at the University of Manchester.

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“This will help us to focus on how the genetic changes act in those immune cells to cause disease," Dr. Bowers says in the press release.

More on psoriasis                               

NEXT: Researchers Identify a gene on Chromosome 5 

 

The researchers identified a gene that lies on chromosome 5. But this is not the first gene specific to psoriatic arthritis to be reported. Patients carrying the HLA-B27 gene are also at higher risk of developing psoriatic arthritis.  

RELATED: Final phase begins for drug’s plaque-psoriasis indication

“This is a significant finding. Not only does it help establish [psoriatic arthritis] as a condition in its own right, but it could have major implications in the way that patients with this condition are treated and lead to the development of drugs specifically developed for [psoriatic arthritis], which are greatly needed," says Stephen Simpson, Ph.D., director of research at Arthritis Research UK.

Reference

Bowes J, Budu-aggrey A, Huffmeier U, et al. Dense genotyping of immune-related susceptibility loci reveals new insights into the genetics of psoriatic arthritis. Nat Commun. 2015;6:6046.