Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia and the HLA B gene

Specific HLA B gene variation carries five fold increased risk of FFA

A new study has put frontal fibrosing alopecia on the radar as another hair loss condition with at least some degree of a genetic basis. Researchers this month identified 4 genes that appear to be relevant to frontal fibrosing alopecia, a type of scarring alopecia which is increasing in prevalance.

Variations in the coding of 4 genes has been identified to be associated with the development of frontal fibrosing alopecia, a type of scarring alopecia.

Variations in the coding of 4 genes has been identified to be associated with the development of frontal fibrosing alopecia, a type of scarring alopecia.


Of the 4 genes (shown here) HLA -B*07:02 or simply “HLA-B” on chromosome 6 was found to have the strongest association. The pinpointing of HLA-B was important because it confirms the important immune basis of this elusive disease. HLA-B is part of thr major histocompatibility complex and is one of the so called “immune recognition genes.” This genes appears to influence how antigens get presented to our immune system. 

Patients with a certain variation in the genetic coding for this gene have a five fold increased risk of developing FFA. The other three genes were important but carried less significant risk for developing FFA than the HLA-B.



Reference


Tziotzios et al. Nature 2019.


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887



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