The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family ligand ectodysplasin A (EDA) is produced as 2 full-length splice variants, EDA1 and EDA2, that bind to EDA receptor (EDAR) and X-linked EDA receptor (XEDAR/EDA2R), respectively. Inactivating mutations in Eda or Edar cause hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED), a condition characterized by malformations of the teeth, hair and glands, with milder deficiencies affecting only the teeth. EDA acts early during the development of ectodermal appendages—as early as the embryonic placode stage—and plays a role in adult appendage function. In this study, the authors measured EDA in serum, saliva and dried blood spots. The authors detected 3- to 4-fold higher levels of circulating EDA in cord blood than in adult sera. A receptor binding-competent form of EDA1 was the main form of EDA but a minor fraction of EDA2 was also found in fetal bovine serum. Sera of EDA-deficient patients contained either background EDA levels or low levels of EDA that could not bind to recombinant EDAR. The serum of a patient with a V262F missense mutation in Eda, which caused a milder form of X-linked HED (XLHED), contained low levels of EDA capable of binding to EDAR. In 2 mildly affected carriers, intermediate levels of EDA were detected, whereas a severely affected carrier had no active EDA in the serum. Small amounts of EDA were also detectable in normal adult saliva. Finally, EDA could be measured in spots of wild-type adult or cord blood dried onto filter paper at levels significantly higher than that measured in EDA-deficient blood. Measurement of EDA levels combined with receptor-binding assays might be of relevance to aid in the diagnosis of total or partial EDA deficiencies.
- genetic disease
- dried blood spot analysis