Friday, May 17, 2013

Veterinary Highlights: A Gene Responsible For Atopic Dermatitis?

Researchers of the Uppsala university and Åke Hedhammar, SLU, Sweden, identified what they believe is a gene involved with atopic dermatitis (atopy).

The PKP-2 gene encodes for a protein that is crucial for formation and proper function of skin.

Atopy is a genetic predisposition to allergic skin disease. It is a condition similar to hay fever in humans, except with dogs it results in itchy skin and can lead to secondary infections.

The researchers from Uppsala University, SLU and Broad Institute, compared DNA samples from a large group of purebred German shepherd dogs affected by atopic dermatitis with the DNA coming from healthy dogs.

Certain variants of the PKP-2 gene seems to be behind increased risk of developing the disease.

This knowledge might lead to better long term treatment strategies, as well as it might allow the development of genetic screening for the disease.

It make sense that the lack of proper skin barrier would cause trouble.

Source article: Gene Associated With Eczema in Dogs Identified


  1. How interesting. We've long subscribed to the theory that poor breeding programs have led to the widespread problem of Atopic Dermatitis and finding a gene that predisposes it would certainly make sense.

    I do hope this leads to some sort of treatment improvement. That would be fantastic for every itchy dog out there!

    1. It certainly would be great if a good treatment could be found.