Symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy (SLO) is characterized by inflammation of the nail bed and nail sloughing that causes affected dogs considerable pain. Disease etiology remains unclear, although an autoimmune component is suspected. A genome-wide association study on Bearded Collies revealed regions of association on canine chromosomes (CFA) 12 and 17. The large region of association on CFA12 likely consists of two smaller linked regions, both of which are also linked to the dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) class II genes. Dogs homozygous for the alternate allele at the top CFA12 SNP also carried two DLA class II risk haplotypes for SLO, and this locus explained most of the increased risk for disease seen throughout the CFA12 region of association. A stronger peak was seen on CFA17 when analysis was done solely on dogs that carried DLA class II risk haplotypes for SLO. The majority of SLO dogs carried a homozygous alternate genotype on CFA12 and at least one CFA17 risk haplotype. Our findings offer progress toward uncovering the genetic basis of SLO. While the contribution of the CFA17 region remains unclear, both CFA12 and CFA17 regions are significantly associated with SLO disease expression in the Bearded Collie and contain potential candidate genes for this disease.
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