Interleukin (IL)-13 genetic polymorphisms have shown adverse effects on respiratory health. However, few studies have explored the interactive effects between IL-13 haplotypes and environmental exposures on childhood asthma. The aims of our study are to evaluate the effects of IL-13 genetic variants on asthma phenotypes, and explore the potential interaction between IL-13 and household environmental exposures among Taiwanese children. We investigated 3,577 children in the Taiwan Children Health Study from 14 Taiwanese communities. Data regarding children's exposure and disease status were obtained from parents using a structured questionnaire. Four SNPs were tagged accounting for 100% of the variations in IL-13. Multiple logistic regression models with false-discovery rate (FDR) adjustments were fitted to estimate the effects of IL-13 variants on asthma phenotypes. SNP rs1800925, SNP rs20541 and SNP rs848 were significantly associated with increased risks on childhood wheeze with FDR of 0.03, 0.04 and 0.04, respectively. Children carrying two copies of h1011 haplotype showed increased susceptibility to wheeze. Compared to those without carpet use and h1011 haplotype, children carrying h1011 haplotype and using carpet at home had significantly synergistic risks of wheeze (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.4-4.4; p for interaction, 0.01) and late-onset asthma (OR, 4.7; 95% CI, 2.0-10.9; p for interaction, 0.02). In conclusions, IL-13 genetic variants showed significant adverse effects on asthma phenotypes among children. The results also suggested that asthma pathogenesis might be mediated by household carpet use.
Tsai, C. H., Tung, K. Y., Su, M. W., Chiang, B. L., Chew, F. T., Kuo, N. W., & Lee, Y. L. (2013). Interleukin-13 Genetic Variants, Household Carpet Use and Childhood Asthma. PLoS ONE, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051970