The genetic changes associated with lower growth and increased risk of our ancestors’ arthritis could help survive the ice age, the study found.
The results showed that mutations in a gene called GDF5 in bone shorter that led to the compact structure of the body, while reducing the risk of bone breakage.
This is also favorable for early humans to better withstand freezing, and helped emigrate from Africa to the colder northern climate between 50,000 and 100,000 years.
The study shows how ice age is obtained because of this gene
These advantages in coping with low temperatures and icy surfaces may be the risk of osteoarthritis, have weighed more than it usually occurs after the first age of having children, the researchers note.
Interestingly, the region of the embodiment of this variant is closely related to other mutations affecting GDF5 activity in the joints, which means « to increase the risk Of osteoarthritis » in the knee and hip. So Terence Capelin, a professor at Harvard University published the study in the journal Nature, the team examined GDF5 gene – first with the growth of the skeletal system in the 1990s as a whole – to learn more about how DNA sequences can influence Gdf5 expression the genes.
They identified a single nucleotide change that appears frequently in Europeans and Asians, but rarely in Africans.
The introduction of these nucleotide changes in laboratory mice showed that the decrease of GDF5 activity in long bone growth plates of fetal mice.
“The possible clinical implications of the results are very interesting as it is affected by many people,” said David Kingsley, a professor at Stanford University.
“Many people think that arthritis as a kind of disease, but even in this case there is a clear genetic component in the work. We have now shown positive evolutionary selection led to one of The most common variants of height and risk factors for known arthritis in human populations”, said Kingsley.