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Genetic Risk Factors Can Be Mapped from Immune Cells

A new article in Futurity reports on a study trying to understand the effects of human genetic variations on how the body functions. T cells and monocytes “representing the adaptive and innate arms of immunity, respectively,” were purified, and researchers examined genetic variants throughout the human genome for their effects on gene expression. “They discovered that genetic variation influencing a person’s risk for multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes is more likely to control gene activity in T cells than in monocytes. In contrast, genetic variation that increases one’s risk for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, shows a striking enrichment of functional effects in monocytes.”

Read it in Futurity.