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J Invest Dermatol. 1994 Jun;102(6):24S-27S.

Epidemiology and the genetics of psoriasis.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0672.


Several lines of compelling epidemiologic evidence indicate that susceptibility to psorasis is inherited, albeit not in a simple monogenic fashion. Psoriasis is one of a number of diseases with a presumed autoimmune pathogenesis that display significant human leukocyte antigen (HLA) associations. However, only a small fraction of those who carry the implicated HLA susceptibility alleles develop disease. Taken together with the epidemiologic data indicative of high heritability, this observations suggests that one or more loci in addition to HLA are necessary for the development of psoriasis. As the identity of these other genes is unknown, genetic linkage analysis offers an attractive strategy for their identification. To this end, we have initiated a large linkage study of multiplex psoriasis kindreds, and PCR-based genotyping of CA repeat polymorphisms has been performed for several markers in the HLA region (6p21.3). As expected given the hypothesis of oligogenic inheritance, these analyses have thus far failed to reveal tight linkage of psoriasis to the 6p21 region. Nevertheless, the substantial homogeneity of the psoriatric phenotype and the clear evidence for increased HLA association and heritability in juvenile onset disease (40 years) indicate that, like insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, psoriasis is an HLA-associated, genetically complex disease whose etiology is potentially amenable to elucidation through linkage analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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