The genetic connection to many types of arthritis are being discovered at a rapid pace. Now comes findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine of another genetic link rheumatoid arthritis.
Two regions on Chromosome 9 have been previously identified as being linked to susceptibility and severity of RA. These are known as HLA-DRB1 and PTPN22. Swedish and U.S. researchers have now identified another region on Chromosome 9 which are associated with RA that contains the TRAF1 and C5 genes.
These researchers compared the genetic makeup in blood samples of 1600 people with RA to 2000 people without from Sweden and the U.S. They performed this study using a relatively new genome-wide association approach which enables them to examine 300,000 to 500,000 small discrepancies in genetic material.
The scientists stated that they were not clear on how TRAF1/C5 is linked to rheumatoid arthritis or whether only one or both genes were responsible. They found that both genes control inflammatory processes which make them both candidates for further research.
The TRAF1/C5 region is the third of three major susceptibility regions for rheumatoid arthritis that were identified by the researchers whole genome screen.