01197-A: Genetic Analysis of Alopecia X in Pomeranians and Keeshonden

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,960
Tosso Leeb, PhD; University of Bern
March 1, 2009 - February 28, 2010

Sponsor(s): BEACON for Health, Bearded Collie Club of America

Breed(s): Pomeranian, Keeshond
Research Program Area: Dermatology and Allergic Disease
Donate to Support this Research Program Area

Project Summary

Alopecia X is an inherited disease in Pomeranians and other breeds with plush undercoat. It leads to hair-loss and sometimes also to a darkening of the underlying skin. Male dogs are much more frequently affected than female dogs, which has led to speculations that a hormonal imbalance might be involved in this disease. However, up to now the cause of alopecia X remains unknown. As the underlying problem has not yet been discovered, we employed a purely genetic approach to localize the mutation in the dog genome. Using SNP chip technology and a so-called genome-wide association study, we were able to show that the mutation causing alopecia X resides on a small segment of chromosome 15. This result is an important advance as there are only ~10 genes in this segment. This means that the other ~20'000 genes in the dog genome are not responsible for alopecia X and need not be further investigated. Unfortunately none of the genes in the associated interval on chromosome 15 has a known involvement in hair growth. Therefore, we will next need to perform a very labor-intensive investigation of all variants in this region to be able to identify the causative mutation for alopecia X.


Fatima Wingeier (2009) Alopecia X in Pomeranians - A Genome Wide Association Analysis. Master Thesis. Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Bern.

Mausberg, E.-M., Drögemüller, C., Dolf, G., Leeb, T., Rüfenacht, S., & Welle, M. (2007). Evaluation of the CTSL2 Gene as a Candidate Gene For Alopecia X in Pomeranians and Keeshonden. Animal Biotechnology, 18(4), 291–296. https://doi.org/10.1080/10495390701547461

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc

8051 Arco Corporate Dr.
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Tax ID# 13-3813813


© 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.