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Five New Loci Linked to Early Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Genomic study also finds associations with loci previously implicated in adult-onset disease

THURSDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Early-onset inflammatory bowel disease is associated with common genetic variants at five new loci, according to a letter published online Nov. 15 in Nature Genetics.

Marcin Imielinski, M.D., of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a genome-wide association study of 3,426 patients with early-onset inflammatory bowel disease and 11,963 genetically matched controls in order to extend results from an earlier study of 1,011 patients with early-onset inflammatory bowel disease.

The researchers found that five new regions were associated with early-onset disease susceptibility, including 16p11 near the cytokine gene IL27 (rs8049439), 22q12 (rs2412973), 10q22 (rs1250550), 2q37 (rs4676410), and 19q13.11 (rs10500264). They also found that 23 of 32 loci previously implicated in adult-onset Crohn's disease and eight of 17 loci implicated in adult-onset ulcerative colitis were associated with early-onset disease susceptibility.

"Our study adds insight into the pathogenic mechanisms mediating early-onset inflammatory bowel disease and its close relationship with adult-onset disease," the authors conclude. "In particular, identification of IL27 as a candidate gene for Crohn's disease susceptibility lends further support to the involvement of the T-helper 17 pathway in pathogenesis of Crohn's disease, complementing gene discoveries in other genome scans (IL23R, STAT3, JAK2, IL12B). In addition, our discovery of five new inflammatory bowel disease susceptibility loci through analysis of a genetically enriched early-onset disease cohort underscores the validity of this approach in the study of complex disease."

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