Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Massive genome studies identify genetics behind white blood cell counts

Date:
July 1, 2011
Source:
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Summary:
A trio of large-scale genome-wide association studies, or GWAS, have identified more than 15 gene variants responsible for the diversity of white blood cell counts among whites, African-Americans, and Japanese. Combined, the studies offer the first comprehensive analysis into why some people, and some populations, have more or fewer white blood cells than others.

A trio of large-scale genome-wide association studies, or GWAS, have identified more than 15 gene variants responsible for the diversity of white blood cell counts among whites, African-Americans, and Japanese. Supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, each study examined the genomes of tens of thousands of people. Combined, the studies offer the first comprehensive analysis into why some people, and some populations, have more or fewer white blood cells than others.

All three articles will be published June 30 by the Public Library of Science in the online journal PLoS Genetics.

White blood cells are part of the immune system, which fights infections and diseases. Measuring white blood cell levels is a common diagnostic test that can reveal underlying infections, cancers, or immune system disorders. Some scientific studies have also linked higher levels of white blood cells to increased risk of disease, including heart disease.

Some of the identified gene variants were responsible for altering total numbers of white blood cells, while other variants affected only one specific cell subtype, such as neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes.

The findings could lead to important clinical advances. For example, these gene variants could be tested to pinpoint disease risks earlier in life. In addition, understanding the genetic basis behind altered white blood cell counts might also lead to gene therapies, such as boosting white blood cells in immune compromised people or reducing them in leukemia patients.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, together with the National Institute on Aging, both part of the NIH, played key roles in the funding and design of both the white and African-American studies. The Institutes also worked closely with Japanese scientists to develop the third study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Okada Y, Hirota T, Kamatani Y, Takahashi A, Ohmiya H, et al. Identification of Nine Novel Loci Associated with White Blood Cell Subtypes in a Japanese Population. PLoS Genetics, 2011; 7 (6): e1002067 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002067
  2. Reiner AP, Lettre G, Nalls MA, Ganesh SK, Mathias R, et al. Genome-Wide Association Study of White Blood Cell Count in 16,388 African Americans: the Continental Origins and Genetic Epidemiology Network (COGENT). PLoS Genetics, 2011; 7 (6): e1002108 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002108
  3. Nalls MA, Couper DJ, Tanaka T, van Rooij FJA, Chen M-H, et al. Multiple Loci Are Associated with White Blood Cell Phenotypes. PLoS Genetics, 2011; 7 (6): e1002113 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002113

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "Massive genome studies identify genetics behind white blood cell counts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630171719.htm>.
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (2011, July 1). Massive genome studies identify genetics behind white blood cell counts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630171719.htm
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. "Massive genome studies identify genetics behind white blood cell counts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110630171719.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins