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Hum Immunol. 2003 Mar;64(3):359-65.

Atopic asthma and TNF-308 alleles: linkage disequilibrium and association analyses.

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Istituto di Genetica e Biofisica, Adriano Buzzati Traverso, Napoli, Italy.


The association of a tumor necrosis factor -308 allele (TNF2) to asthma has been reported in some studies but not in others. The aim of this study was to test this association in a population recruited on the basis of allergy to Parietaria. In the study population, asthma was positively associated to HLA-DRB1*03 (p = 0.01) and to the haplotype TNF2/DRB1*03 (p = 0.02). In the parent subgroup, the proportion of asthmatics was increased in patients with TNF2 (p = 0.01), but the primary association of asthma was to the haplotype TNF2/DRB1*1104 (p = 0.005). The study population was subdivided according to prick skin test (ST) positivity to Lolium, Parietaria, and D. pteronyssinus. Asthma was associated to HLA-DRB1*03 and to the haplotype TNF2/DRB1*03 (p = 0.0015 and 0.0001, respectively) in patients ST positive to Lolium, and to the haplotype TNF2/DRB1*1104 (p = 0.025) in patients ST positive to Parietaria. The transmission disequilibrium test detected excess transmission of HLA-DRB1*03 and of the haplotype TNF2/DRB1*03 (p = 0.03 and 0.04, respectively) to siblings with asthma and ST positivity to Lolium and of HLA-DRB1*1104 and of the haplotype TNF2/DRB1*1104 (p = 0.04 and 0.015, respectively) to siblings with asthma and ST positivity to Parietaria. Taken together, these observations indicate that the haplotypes TNF2/DRB1*03 and TNF2/*B1*1104 contain alleles controlling atopic asthma in patients with sensitization to Lolium and Parietaria, respectively. This suggests that the association of asthma to TNF2 reflects linkage disequilibrium with genes influencing specific immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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