, Volume 126, Issue 4, pp 549-557
Date: 11 Jun 2009

Linkage of atopic dermatitis to chromosomes 4q22, 3p24 and 3q21

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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common, itchy skin disease of complex inheritance characterized by dermal and epidermal inflammation. The heritability is considerable and well documented. To date, four genome scans have examined the AD phenotype, showing replicated linkage at 3p26-22, 3q13-21 and 18q11-21. Our previous AD scan showed evidence of linkage to loci at 3p and 18q, and furthermore at 4p15-14. In order to further investigate the genetic basis of AD, we collected and analysed a new Danish family sample consisting of 130 AD sib pair families (555 individuals including 295 children with AD). AD was diagnosed after clinical examination, AD severity was scored and specific IgE was determined. A linkage scan of chromosome 3, 4 and 18 was performed using 91 microsatellite markers. Linkage analyses were performed of dichotomous phenotypes and semi-quantitative traits including the AD severity score. We analysed the novel AD sample alone and together with the previously examined sample. AD severity showed a maximum Z-score of 3.7 at 4q22.1 suggesting the localization of a novel gene for AD severity. A maximum MOD score of 4.6 was obtained at 3p24 for the AD phenotype, providing the first significant linkage of AD at this locus. A maximum MLS score of 3.3 was obtained at 3q21 for IgE-associated AD, and evidence of linkage was also obtained at 3p22.2-21.31, 3q13, 4q35, and 18q12. The results presented should provide a firm basis for gene-targeting studies of AD and related disorders.