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Lack of Association Between the Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Regulatory Region Genetic Polymorphisms Associated With Elevated Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Levels and Children With Asthma* FREE TO VIEW

Lama El Bahlawan, MD; Michael Christensen, PhD; Said Binaei, BS; Cathy Murphy, BS; Qing Zhang, BS; Micheal Quasney, MD, PhD
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*From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs. Bahlawan and Quasney, and Mr. Zhang) and Clinical Pharmacy (Drs. Christensen and Mr. Binaei); Children's Foundation Research Center, University of Tennessee, Memphis TN; and LeBonheur Children's Medical Center (Ms. Murphy), Memphis, TN.

Correspondence to: Micheal Quasney, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, 50 N Dunlap St, Memphis TN 38103; e-mail: mquasney@utmem.edu

Chest. 2003;123(3_suppl):374S-375S. doi:10.1378/chest.123.3_suppl.374S
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Genetic polymorphisms influence the magnitude of the cytokine response after the occurrence of various inflammatory stimuli. The pathophysiology of asthma involves, in part, the inflammation of the airway epithelium. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a proinflammatory cytokine, is released into the airway and serum of patients with asthma. Indeed, higher serum levels of TNF-α have been demonstrated in children with active disease. We tested the hypothesis that children with asthma have genetic polymorphisms in the regulatory region of the gene coding for TNF-α that are associated with higher levels of TNF-α.

Blood samples were obtained from children with exacerbations of asthma. Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction amplification and restriction enzyme digestion. Genotypic frequencies were determined and compared with samples from healthy control subjects (Table 1 ). Statistical analysis was performed using χ2 analysis.

Thirty-eight children with asthma were enrolled into the study. The genotypic frequencies of the polymorphic lymphotoxin-α+250, TNF-α-238, and TNF-α-308 sites were determined. There was no significant difference between the genotypic frequencies of the polymorphisms that were associated with the higher secretion of TNF-α and children with asthma.

In summary, children with asthma do not have an increase in the frequencies of the various polymorphisms associated with higher levels of TNF-α. Further study is warranted because of the small number of children with asthma who have been evaluated thus far and the wide variety of polymorphisms that may play a role.

Abbreviation: TNF = tumor necrosis factor

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 1. Genotypic Frequencies at Three Polymorphic Sites*

LT = lymphotoxin.



Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 1. Genotypic Frequencies at Three Polymorphic Sites*

LT = lymphotoxin.


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