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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2006 Aug;53(4):715-25.

Genetic aspects of the etiology and treatment of asthma.

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Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Research Institute, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


This article provides a clinical review of the genetic aspects of the etiology and treatment of asthma for pediatric practitioners who are experienced in asthma diagnosis and management but lack expertise in genetics and immunology. Asthma is caused by the interaction of genetic susceptibility with environmental factors. The asthmatic response is characterized by elevated production of IgE, cytokines, and chemokines; mucus hypersecretion; airway obstruction; eosinophilia; and enhanced airway hyperreactivity to spasmogens. The genes most clearly associated with asthma include disintegrin and metalloprotease ADAM-33, dipeptidyl peptidase 10, PHD finger protein 11, and the prostanoid DP1 receptor. Within a few years, practitioners may apply sophisticated knowledge of cell and molecular biology to expand pharmacotherapeutic approaches and to personalize diagnosis and management.

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