Blood coagulation and inflammation play a key role in atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Candidate gene and genome wide association studies have identified potential specific genes that might have a causal role in these pathogenic processes. The analysis of quantitative traits is more powerful as they are closer to direct gene action than disease phenotypes. Thus linkage-based studies on extended families might be useful both to estimate the heritability and to map the genetic loci responsible for the regulation of the trait. Family-based studies may estimate high heritability for thrombosis and quantitative traits regarding both platelet aggregation and blood coagulation. Some specific loci relevant to thrombosis have been identified, with some of them showing a direct pleiotropic effect on the risk of thrombosis. Haemostasis factors can be activated by inflammatory stimuli. Fibrinogen level is genetically correlated with C-reactive protein levels with a link for both traits on chromosomes 12 and 21. Genes related to prostanoid biosynthesis, involved both in inflammation and thrombosis, show high heritability levels in both enzyme expression and prostanoid production. Considering that few large family-based linkage studies have as yet been performed on haemostasis and inflammation-related traits, additional studies are highly needed. We are performing a family-based linkage study on large pedigrees (750 subjects from 23 families with juvenile myocardial infarction and 31 control families), to identify genes responsible for quantitative traits involved in the pathway progressively going from inflammation to haemostasis, cell activation, thrombus formation and cardiovascular events.
- Family studies
- Quantitative traits
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine