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Expression network analysis reveals cord blood vitamin D-associated genes affecting risk of early life wheeze
  1. Hooman Mirzakhani1,
  2. Amal A Al-Garawi1,
  3. Vincent J Carey1,
  4. Weiliang Qiu1,
  5. Augusto A Litonjua2,
  6. Scott T Weiss1
  1. 1 Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Scott T Weiss, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; restw{at}


Cord blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) has been reported in association with risk of early life recurrent wheeze. In a subset of infants who participated in the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial, we demonstrated that higher cord blood 25OHD at birth (>31 ng/mL) was associated with a reduced risk of recurrent wheeze in the first year of life. We then identified a module of co-expressed genes associated with cord blood 25OHD levels >31 ng/mL. Genes in this module are involved in biological and immune pathways related to development and progression of asthma pathogenesis including the Notch1 and transforming growth factor-beta signalling pathways.

  • asthma epidemiology
  • asthma in primary care
  • asthma mechanisms
  • paediatric asthma
  • asthma genetics

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  • HM and AAA-G contributed equally.

  • Contributors STW: conceived the study and was the principle investigator. AAL: assisted in the design of the study and VDAART. HM, AAA-G, VJC and WQ: performed the analysis of the data. HM, VJC and AAA-G: contributed to the discussion of the statistical analysis plan and interpretation of study results. HM and AAA-G: wrote the manuscript with all other authors contributed to the relevant sections and approved the final manuscript. HM and STW: revised the manuscript.

  • Funding VDAART was supported by U01HL091528 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute now R01HL091528. AAG and HM are supported by T32-HL00742707. HM was also supported by L30-HL129467-01. VJC supported in part by U41 HG004059 from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

  • Disclaimer The corresponding author had full access to all the data and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval VDAART IRB approval was obtained from each of the three clinical centers and the Data Coordinating Center, that is, Washington University in St. Louis, Kaiser Health Care San Diego, Boston Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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