December 1999 AAOS Report
Genes studied in spondylitis
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has awarded $4.5 million to establish the North American Spondylitis Consortium (NASC) to search for genes that determine susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Researchers plan to establish a bank of sera, genomic DNA and frozen lymphocytes from 400 families nationwide in which two or more siblings have AS. Through genetic typing methods, researchers will search for additional allels within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) that may contribute to predisposition of AS. They also will conduct a genome-wide search for sibling pairs affected and unaffected by AS and map genes linked to AS that exist outside of the MHC. The project will involve 10 research centers and staff from the Spondylitis Association of America. For information, call the NASC at (888) 777-1594, and ask for the Family Genetic Research Project.