Childhood asthma phenotype is the consequence of interaction between environment and genetic factors. Nitric oxide (NO) formation is affected by polymorphisms in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes, which play a significant role as inflammatory factors in the airways. This study was undertaken to estimate the correlation of -786C>T and 894G>T polymorphisms of the eNOS gene with the sensitization of asthmatic children to common aeroallergens.
A total of 193 asthmatic children and 96 healthy controls, who were of Mediterranean origin, living in the same geographical area, were enrolled in the study. 894G>T and -786T/C polymorphisms of the eNOS gene were analyzed using a PCR-RFLP method.
The 894GG genotype was more frequent (68.6%) in children with asthma sensitized to Oleaeuropaea than in those with asthma non-sensitized (43.0%) (P=0.004). Likewise, -786TT genotype frequency was higher in children with asthma sensitized to Oleaeuropaea (51.0%) than in those with asthma nonsensitized (31.7%) to this allergen (P=0.035). For the aeroallergens Parietariajudaica and mixed grass, the frequency of -786C allele carriage was associated with protection from sensitization to Parietariajudaica and mixed grass in asthmatic children (P=0.021 and P=0.017, respectively). In the healthy control group, the genotype frequencies for these polymorphisms were similar to genotype frequencies of children with asthma non-sensitized to these three specific aeroallergens.
In children with asthma, 894G>T and -786T/C polymorphisms of the eNOS gene were correlated with sensitization to common seasonal aeroallergens.
Key words: asthma; atopy; genetics; nitric oxide