Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Background: A polymorphism in the monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) gene regulatory region has been associated with asthma in Caucasians. This polymorphism is possibly endemic to the Asian region, but its impact on Asian populations is unclear. In addition, the relationship of this marker with life-threatening asthma has not been clarified. The aim of this study was to test the genetic association between the MCP-1 –2518A/G polymorphism and asthma/atopy in a cohort of Chinese children, with particular emphasis on those patients who had experienced life-threatening asthma attacks.Methods: Forty-eight children with near-fatal asthma, 134 mild-to-moderate asthmatics, 69 allergic-disorder cases without asthma, and 107 nonasthmatic, nonatopic control children were genotyped by a polymerase chain reaction-based assay.Results: Comparison of the four groups of children (n = 358) revealed no detectable differences in genotype or allele frequencies of the MCP-1 –2518A/G polymorphism. There was no evidence of association between the polymorphism and any of the outcomes of interest including clinical severity, blood eosinophil count, atopy, total serum IgE levels, and degree of bronchial hyper-responsiveness.Conclusion: These results suggest that the MCP-1 –2518A/G polymorphism is not a risk factor for near-fatal asthma. Furthermore, this polymorphism seems to play no role in the development of asthma or atopy in Chinese subjects, possibly as a result of the genetic heterogeneity between Asian and Caucasian populations with respect to regulation of MCP-1 expression. Our results underscore the necessity of accounting for ethnic background in the investigation of asthma-predisposition genes.
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