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The CD14 C-159T polymorphism is not associated with asthma or asthma severity in an Australian adult population
  1. M-A Kedda1,2,3,
  2. F Lose1,3,
  3. D Duffy4,
  4. E Bell1,
  5. P J Thompson1,2,
  6. J Upham5
  1. 1Asthma and Allergy Research Institute Inc and Centre for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  2. 2Cooperative Research Centre for Asthma, University of Western Australia, Perth, Autralia
  3. 3Western Australian Institute for Medical Research and Centre for Medical Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  4. 4Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia
  5. 5Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    Associate Professor P J Thompson
    Asthma and Allergy Research Institute, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia;


Background: CD14 functions as a multifunctional receptor for bacterial cell wall components including endotoxin and lipopolysaccharide and is likely to play a role in the polarisation of T lymphocytes into Th1 and Th2 subsets, thereby influencing the cytokine profile and subsequent IgE production in response to antigen/allergen contact in allergic phenotypes. A functional C-159T polymorphism has been described in the promoter region of the gene and has been associated with increased gene expression, atopy, and non-atopic asthma in different ethnic populations. A study was undertaken to examine the association between the C-159T polymorphism and asthma, asthma severity, and atopy in a large Australian white population.

Methods: PCR-RFLP analysis was used to characterise the C-159T polymorphism in mild (n = 264), moderate (n = 225) and severe (n = 79) asthmatic patients and non-asthmatic controls (n = 443), including atopic (n = 688) and non-atopic (n = 323) individuals. Association analyses were performed using χ2 tests.

Results: There was no association between the polymorphism and asthma (p = 0.468) or asthma severity (p = 0.727), and only a very weak association with atopy (p = 0.084). A meta-analysis of all studies conducted to date revealed similar genotypic frequencies in white ethnic populations and confirmed that there was no overall association with atopy (p = 0.52) or asthma (p = 0.23), although there was significant between study heterogeneity (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: This study confirms that there is no association between the CD14 C-159T polymorphism and asthma or asthma severity and a weak association between this polymorphism and atopy in an adult population.

  • CD14
  • genetics
  • asthma
  • atopy
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  • This project was funded by the Asthma and Allergy Research Institute, the Asthma Foundation of Western Australia, the NH&MRC and the Australian Medical Students Association. David Duffy is an NH&MRC Research Fellow.

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