The genetics of spondyloarthritis
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Lucía, Alejandro M.
The term spondyloarthritis (SpA) encompasses a group of chronic inflammatory diseases with common features in terms of clinical presentation and genetic predisposition. SpA is characterized by inflammation of the spine and peripheral joints, and is also be associated with extra-articular inflammatory manifestations such as psoriasis, uveitis, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The etiology of SpA is not completely understood, but it is known to have a strong genetic component dominated by the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27. In the last few years, our understanding of genetic susceptibility to SpA, particularly ankylosing spondylitis (AS), has greatly improved thanks to the findings derived from powered genome-wide association studies (GWAS) based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays. These studies have identified many candidate genes, therefore providing new potential directions in the exploration of disease mechanisms, especially with regard to the key role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of SpA. SpA is a complex disease where genetic variability, environmental factors, and random events interact to trigger pathological pathways. The aim of this review is to summarize current findings on the genetics of SpA, some of which might help to study new treatment approaches.
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