Update on FSF & Amyloidosis Research July 2004

posted: by: Linda J. M. Tintle, D.V.M. Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Daniel L. Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Genetics and Genomics Branch, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland has agreed to investigate the genetics of Shar-Pei fever.  A post-doctoral fellow in his laboratory has been assigned to the project.  From the NIAMS website:

Kastner heads the NIAMS Genetics Section and has spent the past decade identifying genes that predispose people to arthritis, of which many forms are genetically linked.

Kastner and international collaborators have successfully identified the genes that are responsible for forms of arthritis associated with two inflammatory disorders; these are TRAPS (Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Periodic Syndrome) and FMF (Familial Mediterranean Fever).

TRAPS is a genetic disease that results in arthritic fever and inflammation of the lungs and intestines. It may also cause a rash.

FMF is also genetic, with symptoms that include fever, skin rash, joint pain and damage, and sometimes abdominal or chest pain.

Both TRAPS and FMF carry the risk of amyloidosis, a potentially fatal deposition of a blood protein in vital organs.

I am very happy that Dr. Kastner has committed to this project.

The first planned studies involve examining the DNA of Shar-Pei crosses (Shar-Pei mixed breed dogs).  We are asking anyone who owns a mixed breed Shar-Pei cross to consider participating in the study.  Shar-Pei mixes that have had fever episodes typical of FSF are particularly desirable.  This is just the first step in the investigation.  I will be in contact with everyone again in the future with further requests for help.  I can be reached by email or telephone if you can aid in the research.

Participants would need to send me their dog’s medical records and history and then we would arrange to have their veterinarian send a small blood sample to the lab at NIH.

Anne Avery, VMD, PHD of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at Colorado State University is finishing up a grant proposal to the AKC Canine Health Foundation and CSPCA Charitable Trust to investigate the underlying mechanisms causing FSF and amyloidosis which may lead to better diagnostics and treatment of this devastating disease.  Dr. Avery is coordinating her research with Dr. Kastner and they hope to have complementary and synergistic research teams.

We are asking that anyone local to the Fort Collins, Colorado area with Shar-Pei suffering with FSF and/or Amyloidosis that would be willing to bring their dogs to the Veterinary College at CSU for blood sampling contact me by phone or email (see below).  Breeders with multiple dogs and good family histories are particularly needed.   Some tests of immune function can only be conducted on very fresh samples and local volunteers would be very helpful to the research.

I have already received numerous offers of assistance in these projects but more are needed.  If you can help, it will be greatly appreciated.   We are planning on utilizing the DNA bank at MU and the information gathered by the CSPCA DNA Committee and are grateful for everyone who has contributed their efforts there.

Thank you.