NIH creates database of healthy immune traits

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Researchers from the National Institutes of Health recently developed a database of the traits of a healthy immune system.

The scientists plan to use their research on healthy individuals as a reference resource for other researchers, who may be studying genetic risk factors and susceptibilities.

The research team created a screening method to determine 78,000 subsets of immune traits or cells. They then studied the blood samples of 669 female twins to learn which immune traits are most likely genetic.

They chose 151 of the most promising immune traits to use a genome-wide method of identifying the links between genes and immune traits. Through this system, they found 19 immune traits that are influenced by more than 140 genetic changes that are joined in 11 areas of the genome.

These results have implications for scientists, researchers, health professionals, and patients with lupus, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Changes in the FCGR2 gene, for instance, correlate with autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and lupus, but exactly how FCGR2 influences the immune system is still unknown. The new database should answer questions such as these, helping studies in the future and hopefully finding better treatments for illnesses.

Organizations in this Story

National Institutes of Health

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