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IL-21 genetic association with SLE

Posted by asawalha on 18 Apr 2008 at 03:42 GMT

I would like to congratulate the authors for a nice study and report. However, the authors failed to mention that the genetic region harboring IL-21 on chromosome 4q27 has been previously associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (1). Indeed, the association between SNPs within IL-21 and lupus was published online first in August, 2007, prior to the report describing the association of this same region in rheumatoid arthritis. The fact that this locus is associated with multiple autoimmune diseases suggests that functional characterization of this polymorphism might provide important information pertinent to a common pathway in the origin of autoimmunity.

(1) Sawalha AH, Kaufman KM, Kelly JA, Adler AJ, Aberle T, Kilpatrick J, Wakeland EK, Li QZ, Wandstrat AE, Karp DR, James JA, Merrill JT, Lipsky P, Harley JB. Genetic association of interleukin-21 polymorphisms with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2008 Apr;67(4):458-61. Epub 2007 Aug 24.


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Amr H Sawalha, MD
Assistant Professor
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation