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Open Badges Editorial

Knee osteoarthritis, lumbar-disc degeneration and developmental dysplasia of the hip - an emerging genetic overlap

John Loughlin

Author Affiliations

Musculoskeletal Research Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, 4th Floor, Catherine Cookson Building, The Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:108  doi:10.1186/ar3291

Published: 19 April 2011


Genetics highlights relationships between biological systems, and as the number of defined osteoarthritis susceptibility alleles increases, there is the natural tendency to assess whether the alleles influence other musculoskeletal phenotypes. That has proven to be the case for the GDF5 polymorphism rs143383, a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis and several other common conditions, including lumbar-disc degeneration and developmental dysplasia of the hip. Another interesting example has recently emerged in the repeat polymorphism of the asporin gene, ASPN, which is also associated with these three phenotypes. Such discoveries increase our understanding of shared disease etiology but also emphasize the complexity of common genetic risk.