A genome-wide study has identified DNA regions associated with higher levels of circulating cytokines, small proteins that play a role in inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Scientists want to obtain a better understanding of the interplay between cytokines and growth factors to gain insight into inflammatory diseases.
“We wanted to find out the molecular-level processes that lead to an increased risk of developing inflammatory diseases. Understanding these processes will enable more effective treatment of diseases,” Professor Olli Raitakari, director of the research center and one of the study’s senior authors….
Researchers identified 27 genomic regions that have a significant association with circulating cytokines. They also identified a genomic variation associated with higher production of the circulating interleukin-2 receptor alpha subunit (IL-2ra). This variation increases the risk that someone will develop Crohn’s disease and MS.
“Our results suggest that [the FDA-approved MS treatment] Zinbryta might be beneficial for persons with Crohn’s disease as well,” the researchers wrote.
[The study can be found here.]
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