Researchers from China, the Republic of Korea and Japan have performed a large genome-wide analysis for lupus in East Asian populations, shedding light on genetic and biological understandings of the autoimmune disease, sources with the Beijing-based China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the main participant of the study, said Tuesday.
Lupus, technically known as systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, is an autoimmune disorder that can damage kidneys and other organs. It usually affects women, especially those of childbearing age.
Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle and joint pains, and a red rash on the face. The cause of lupus is not clear, but previous studies have shown that genetic factors play an important role. There is no cure for the disease.
The research team analyzed genes on more than 200,000 blood samples collected from lupus patients and healthy control groups and subsequently carried out a study to identify gene variants associated with lupus.
It detected 113 genetic regions including 46 new ones and identified 110 putative risk variants.
Apart from helping us understand the genetic mechanisms of SLE, the study is of great value for developing preventive measures, diagnoses and treatment, the hospital said in a statement.
The results were recently published in the international journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Chinese participants of the study also include the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University. Enditem