A new study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology finds there may be a genetic explanation for the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in African American women.
The study, published on August 20, points to epigenetic changes near interferon-regulated genes early in B cell development. These changes are a “hallmark” of SLE development in African American women, the authors wrote.
“We have identified an aberrant epigenetic signature that developed early in B cell development in African American patients. This observation is consistent with recently published work which identified a SLE-specific epigenetic signature present in the resting naïve B cell stage that persists throughout development in a cohort of Africa American females,” wrote the authors who were led by Devin Absher, Ph.D., of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Alabama.