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Primary osteoarthritis (OA) has a major genetic component that is transmitted in a complex, non-mendelian manner. We previously conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on OA affected sibling-pair families and identified several genomic regions potentially harbouring OA risk loci. The strongest evidence was obtained on chromosome 6p12.3–q13, with a multipoint logarithm of the odds score of 4.0.1 This linkage was restricted to the 146 families in our cohort that contained female sibling-pairs concordant for hip OA. A subsequent high density microsatellite linkage scan of the interval provided further strong evidence for linkage as well as evidence of association with several markers, including D6S1956.2 This marker is located less than 200 kb distal of the interleukin 17 (IL17) genes, IL17A and IL17F.
IL17 was originally identified as a product of CD4+ memory T cells, with subsequent studies demonstrating secretion by CD8+ cells.3,4 IL17 is an inducer of several cytokines, …
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