Periodic fever clue in shar-pei wrinkles

A GENE mutation that causes the wrinkled skin of shar-pei dogs has been linked to periodic fever syndrome in the breed and may have implications for humans, researchers say.

The breed has a high prevalence of a periodic fever disorder similar to human inherited autoinflammatory periodic fever syndromes, especially familial Mediterranean fever, which can cause kidney or liver failure.

Swedish researchers said the thickened and wrinkled skin of the dogs contained an excess of hyaluronan, probably because of over-activation of the hyaluronan synthase 2 gene (HAS2.) 

Their research shed light on the role of hyaluronan in inflammatory disease. The association of HAS2 dysregulation and autoinflammation is of interest since the genetic cause of the syndromes remains unexplained in about 60% of human cases.

“The finding that hyaluronan is a major trigger of fever opens a new research field in canine and human inflammatory disease,&rdquo