-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- The gene mutation
responsible for the wrinkled skin of Shar-Pei dogs is also linked
to a periodic fever disorder, a finding that could have important
implications for human health, researchers report.
Shar-Pei dogs have a high prevalence of a periodic fever
disorder that is similar to inherited autoinflammatory periodic
fever syndromes in humans.
The thick, wrinkled skin of Shar-Pei dogs contains an excess of
hyaluronan, most likely because of an over-activation of the
hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2) gene. The fever disorder in the dogs
occurs when overproduction of hyaluronan activates the immune
system, according to scientists at the Broad Institute in
Cambridge, Mass., and Uppsala University in Sweden.
The finding, published in the March 17 online edition of the
PLoS Genetics, could help improve understanding of human inflammatory diseases, the researchers said. They noted that the genetic cause of periodic fever syndromes in humans is unknown in about 60 percent of cases.
"The finding that hyaluronan is a major trigger of fever opens a new research field in canine and human inflammatory disease," senior author Kerstin Lindblad-Toh said in a journal news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and
Skin Diseases has more about
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