Studying the genetic predisposing factors in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris

Hum Immunol. 2011 Sep;72(9):766-73. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 May 24.


Acne is one of the most common dermatologic diseases in the developed regions of the world, affecting a large percentage of the population. Despite the great improvement in the number and quality of studies of the molecular etiology of this disease in the past 3 decades, the detailed molecular pathogenesis and the cause of the large individual variations in severity of skin symptoms remain unknown. The roles of genetic inheritance and special genetic susceptibility and protective factors have been suggested for over 100 years, but their identification and determination started only in the 1990s. To date, only a small number of genetic polymorphisms affecting the expression and/or function of a handful of genes have been investigated. This review surveys the major findings of the classic and molecular genetic studies that have been conducted in this field, draws conclusions, and indicates how the available data help our current understanding of the pathogenesis of this common skin disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1alpha / genetics
  • Minisatellite Repeats
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptors / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2