T-box expressed in T cells (T-bet) is a transcription factor regulating the commitment of T helper (Th) cells by driving the cells into the Th1 direction. Abnormal Th1/Th2 balance may lead to complex disorders like asthma or autoimmune diseases. Recent studies have suggested that T-bet might be a candidate gene for asthma. This led us to screen 23 Finnish individuals for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the T-bet locus and study the association between the SNPs and high serum IgE level and asthma.
We screened all six exons, adjacent intronic areas and 2 kb of the 5'-flanking region from 23 individuals utilizing WAVE trade mark technology. To explore whether T-bet is associated in serum IgE regulation or asthma we genotyped the SNPs in a Finnish asthmatic founder population. The association analyses were made using haplotype pattern mining.
Fifteen novel SNPs were found in the T-bet gene. Within the Finnish asthmatic founder population, there was no association between T-bet SNPs and high serum IgE level or asthma.
The genetic variability in the T-bet gene does not play a role in the pathogenesis of human asthma. Our results provide a novel panel of SNPs in T-bet and will help determine whether the SNPs have a functional role in other T cell-mediated diseases.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) concentration in serum is elevated in atopic diseases such as asthma. A large genomic region on chromosome 5 has previously been implicated in the control of IgE levels and bronchial hyperreactivity and may, therefore, harbor genes predisposing to asthma. In an effort to confirm this linkage and to delimit the critical region, we took advantage of an isolated founder subpopulation in Finland to study genetic linkage and haplotype associations. Sixteen polymorphic markers, including the Interleukin-4 and -9 genes (IL4, IL9), were physically ordered and genotyped in 157 nuclear families. Genetic linkage studies involving sib- and cousin-pair analyses found no evidence of genetic linkage between markers in 5q and either serum IgE levels or asthma. Haplotype association studies were also performed. Although initial inspection suggested the possibility of linkage disequilibrium in the region of IL9, we developed a rigorous permutation test for assessing association and determined that the association was no greater than would be expected by chance. Sequence analysis of the IL9 gene in three patients sharing a possibly conserved haplotype revealed a T113M coding polymorphism, but this variant showed no association with either serum IgE levels or asthma. We conclude that allelic variation at chromosome 5q31 is not likely to contribute to inheritance of serum IgE levels or the development of asthma in this Finnish subpopulation.
To study the associations between timing and diversity of introduction of complementary foods during infancy and atopic sensitization in 5-year-old children.
In the Finnish DIPP (type 1 diabetes prediction and prevention) birth cohort (n = 3781), data on the timing of infant feeding were collected up to the age of 2 years and serum IgE antibodies toward four food and four inhalant allergens measured at the age of 5 years. Logistic regression was used for the analyses.
Median duration of exclusive and total breastfeeding was 1.4 (interquartile range: 0.2-3.5) and 7.0 (4.0-11.0) months, respectively. When all the foods were studied together and adjusted for confounders, short duration of breastfeeding decreased the risk of sensitization to birch allergen; introduction of oats