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Database on healthy immune system developed

Date:
March 12, 2015
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
An extensive database identifying immune traits, such as how immune cell function is regulated at the genetic level in healthy people, has been developed by researchers. While many genetic risk factors have been linked to various diseases, including autoimmune disorders, how a genetic change causes susceptibility to a disease is not always clear. By studying healthy people, researchers have created a reference resource for other scientists.
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An extensive database identifying immune traits, such as how immune cell function is regulated at the genetic level in healthy people, is reported by researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators in the journal Cell. While many genetic risk factors have been linked to various diseases, including autoimmune disorders, how a genetic change causes susceptibility to a disease is not always clear. By studying healthy people, researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center, part of the NIH, and colleagues from King's College London have created a reference resource for other scientists.

The team analyzed blood samples collected from 669 female twins and developed a screening method that could differentiate approximately 78,000 subsets of immune cells, or immune traits. By using twins, the researchers identified which immune traits were most likely to be heritable and thus regulated at the genetic level. They selected 151 promising traits and performed a genome-wide approach to identify which, if any, genetic changes regulated a trait. They discovered 19 immune traits that were regulated by more than 240 genetic changes clustered within 11 areas of the human genome.

The results of this study have far-reaching implications, especially for researchers studying autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, lupus, type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. For example, genetic changes in the FCGR2 gene are known risk factors for several autoimmune disorders, including those just noted. However, it remains unclear how FCGR2 influences such a range of disorders. Now, researchers can use this new database to see how a change in FCGR2 or another gene affects components of the immune system and, subsequently, incorporate this information in the design of future studies.


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Materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M Roederer, L Quaye, M Mangino et al. The genetic architecture of the human immune system: a bioresource for autoimmunity and disease pathogenesis. Cell, March 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.046

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Database on healthy immune system developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150312123602.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2015, March 12). Database on healthy immune system developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150312123602.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Database on healthy immune system developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150312123602.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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