An understanding of the genetic basis of asthma

Department of Studies in Zoology, University of Mysore, Mysore, India.
The Indian Journal of Medical Research (Impact Factor: 1.4). 08/2011; 134(2):149-61.
Source: PubMed


Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease in developed nations and its prevalence has increased in the world over the last 25 years. It is a complex disease with both genetic and environmental risk factors. Asthma is caused by multiple interacting genes, some having a protective effect and others contributing to the disease pathogenesis, with each gene having its own tendency to be influenced by the environment. This article reviews the current state of the genetics of asthma in six categories, viz. epidemiology, management, aetiology, family and twin studies, segregation and linkage studies, and candidate genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

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    • "The prevalence of asthma in India has increased to 15–20 million in the last 25 years and was found to be 1.69–3.47% mostly due to environmental factors in concert with genetic factors [1] [5] [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder delineated by a heightened immunological response due to environmental or genetic factors. Single nucleotide polymorphism studies have shown that FOXO3a plays a pivotal role in maintaining immunoregulation. Polymorphism in FOXO3a has been linked to inflammatory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Crohn’s disease suggesting that FOXO3a may be associated with asthma. Airway inflammation in asthma is characterized by activation of T helper type 2 (Th2) T cells and Foxo family members are reported to play critical roles in the suppression of T cell activation. Thus this study was undertaken to investigate an association between single nucleotide polymorphism of the FOXO3a (rs13217795, C>T transition) gene and asthma in Indian population. To our knowledge we are the first ones reporting an association between FOXO3a and asthma.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Vitamin D and its nuclear receptor (VDR) are linked to asthma in a genetic and immunologic basis. Polymorphisms in the VDR gene may alter the actions of vitamin D and then influence the development and the severity of asthma. AIMS: We aimed at elucidating the genetic association of VDR gene polymorphisms with susceptibility to asthma in Tunisian children and with serum vitamin D levels. METHODS: The study included 155 patients recruited from Abderrahmen MAMI hospital in Tunisia and Two hundred twenty five healthy individuals matched with patients in age and sex for comparison. VDR genotypes were determined by PCR-RFLP method using endonuclease FokI, BsmI, TaqI and ApaI and Vitamin D was assessed with a radioimmunoassay kit. RESULTS: The distribution of genotype frequencies differed significantly between asthmatics and controls (FokI: P=0.04; BsmI: P= 0.006; TaqI: P= 0.006). Haplotype analyses revealed a significant association between bAt and bat haplotypes and asthma (P=0.00076, P=0.016). When patients were stratified according to atopic status and stage of severity, no significant association was detected with VDR variants. No association was found between VDR SNPs and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. CONCLUSION: Our study shows a relation between VDR gene polymorphisms and susceptibility to asthma in children.
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