Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
SCAND J GASTROENTERO
Journal title long:
Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology
Abstract The two major subtypes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC, MIM#191390) and Crohn''s disease (CD, MIM#266600), are chronic relapsing-remitting inflammatory disorders affecting primarily the gastrointestinal tract. Prevalence rates in North America and Europe range from 21 to 246 per 100,000 for UC and 8 to 214 per 100,000 for CD. Although CD and UC share some clinical and pathological features, they can be distinguished by localization, endoscopic appearance, histology and behavior, which suggest differences in the underlying pathophysiology. The importance of genetic risk factors in disease etiology is high and has been documented more clearly for CD than for UC (relative sibling risks λs: 15-35 for CD, 6-9 for UC). The most recent and largest genetic association study for IBD, which employed genome-wide association data for over 75,000 patients and controls, established the association of 163 susceptibility loci with IBD. Although the disease variance explained by the 163 loci only amounts to 13.6% for CD and 7.5% for UC, the identified loci and the candidate genes within yielded valuable insights into the pathogenesis of IBD and the relevant disease pathways. We here review the current research on the genetics of IBD and provide insights into on current efforts as well as suggest topics for future research.