Background Allergic asthma is a complex disorder that results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Studies suggest that helminth infections can activate a regulatory network characterized by the production of regulatory cytokines, such as interleukin 10 and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and subsequently protect against immune-mediated diseases, such as asthma. On the other hand, TGF-β1 is increased in the lungs of individuals with asthma and may modulate airway inflammation. The role of TGF- β 1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in allergic disease remains inconclusive. Objective To evaluate the effects of genetic variations in the TGF-β1 on allergy and helminths infections in children. Methods We tested for association among 4 TGF-β1 SNPs and allergic asthma, specific IgE, skin prick test result, and IL-10 production in 1,335 Brazilians. In addition, we analyzed the association with markers of helminth infection (parasite burden, anti-Ascaris IgE, and worm specific IgG4). The polymorphisms were genotyped using Taq Man probes. Results We found an association between rs1800470 (C allele) and atopic wheezing (odds ratio [OR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37–0.95) and markers of allergy (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.22–0.79). In contrast, a positive association was observed between the haplotype ACCA and Trichuris trichiura infection (OR, 1.85; P = .003) and Ascaris lumbricoides infection (OR, 2.01; P < .001). This haplotype was also associated with increased IL-10 production (β = 50.7; P < .001). Conclusion Individuals with TGF-β1 polymorphisms have an increased susceptibility to helminth infections and a lower risk of developing allergy. These studies suggest that immune modulation of allergic disease results not only from environmental factors but also from genetic susceptibility and IL-10 production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine