Hypoxemia, hypercarbia, and pulmonary arterial hypertension are known complications of advanced COPD. We sought to identify genetic polymorphisms associated with these traits in a population of patients with severe COPD from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT).
In 389 participants from the NETT Genetics Ancillary Study, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in five candidate genes previously associated with COPD susceptibility (EPHX1, SERPINE2, SFTPB, TGFB1, and GSTP1). Linear regression models were used to test for associations among these SNPs and three quantitative COPD-related traits (Pao2, Paco2, and pulmonary artery systolic pressure). Genes associated with hypoxemia were tested for replication in probands from the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study.
In the NETT Genetics Ancillary Study population, SNPs in microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1) [p = 0.01 to 0.04] and serpin peptidase inhibitor, clade E, member 2 (SERPINE2) [p = 0.04 to 0.008] were associated with hypoxemia. One SNP within surfactant protein B (SFTPB) was associated with pulmonary artery systolic pressure (p = 0.01). In probands from the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study, SNPs in EPHX1 and in SERPINE2 were associated with the requirement for supplemental oxygen.
In participants with severe COPD, SNPs in EPHX1 and SERPINE2 were associated with hypoxemia in two separate study populations, and SNPs from SFTPB were associated with pulmonary artery pressure in the NETT participants.
case-control studies; COPD; genetics; phenotype; single-nucleotide polymorphism
Bronchodilator response (BDR) is an important asthma phenotype that measures reversibility of airway obstruction by comparing lung function (i.e. FEV1) before and after the administration of a short-acting β2-agonist, the most common rescue medications used for the treatment of asthma. BDR also serves as a test of β2-agonist efficacy. BDR is a complex trait that is partly under genetic control. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of BDR, quantified as percent change in baseline FEV1 after administration of a β2-agonist, was performed with 1,644 non-Hispanic white asthmatic subjects from six drug clinical trials: CAMP, LOCCS, LODO, a medication trial conducted by Sepracor, CARE, and ACRN. Data for 469,884 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to measure the association of SNPs with BDR using a linear regression model, while adjusting for age, sex, and height. Replication of primary P-values was attempted in 501 white subjects from SARP and 550 white subjects from DAG. Experimental evidence supporting the top gene was obtained via siRNA knockdown and Western blotting analyses. The lowest overall combined P-value was 9.7E-07 for SNP rs295137, near the SPATS2L gene. Among subjects in the primary analysis, those with rs295137 TT genotype had a median BDR of 16.0 (IQR = [6.2, 32.4]), while those with CC or TC genotypes had a median BDR of 10.9 (IQR = [5.0, 22.2]). SPATS2L mRNA knockdown resulted in increased β2-adrenergic receptor levels. Our results suggest that SPATS2L may be an important regulator of β2-adrenergic receptor down-regulation and that there is promise in gaining a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of differential response to β2-agonists through GWAS.
Bronchodilator response (BDR) is an important asthma phenotype that measures reversibility of airway obstruction by comparing lung function before and after the administration of short-acting β2-agonists, common medications used for asthma treatment. We performed a genome-wide association study of BDR with 1,644 white asthmatic subjects from six drug clinical trials and attempted to replicate these findings in 1,051 white subjects from two independent cohorts. The most significant associated variant was near the SPATS2L gene. We knocked down SPATS2L mRNA in human airway smooth muscle cells and found that β2-adrenergic receptor levels increased, suggesting that SPATS2L may be a regulator of BDR. Our results highlight the promise of pursuing GWAS results that do not necessarily reach genome-wide significance and are an example of how results from pharmacogenetic GWAS can be studied functionally.
COPD exacerbations reduce quality of life and increase mortality. Genetic variation may explain the substantial variability seen in exacerbation frequency among COPD subjects with similar lung function. We analyzed whether polymorphisms in five candidate genes previously associated with COPD susceptibility also demonstrate association with COPD exacerbations.
Eighty-eight single nucleotide polymorphisms in microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1), transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1), SERPINE2, glutathione S-transferase pi (GSTP1), and surfactant protein B (SFTPB) were genotyped in 389 non-Hispanic white participants in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial. Exacerbations were defined as COPD-related emergency room visits or hospitalizations using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services claims data.
Measurements and Main Results
216 subjects (56%) experienced one or more exacerbations during the study period. An SFTPB promoter polymorphism, rs3024791, was associated with COPD exacerbations (p=0.008). Logistic regression models confirmed the association with rs3024791 (p = 0.007). Poisson regression models demonstrated association of multiple SFTPB SNPs with exacerbation rates: rs2118177 (p = 0.006), rs2304566 (p = 0.002), rs1130866 (p = 0.04), and rs3024791 (p = 0.002). Polymorphisms in EPHX1, GSTP1, TGFB1, and SERPINE2 did not demonstrate association with COPD exacerbations.
Variants in SFTPB are associated with COPD susceptibility and COPD exacerbation frequency.
association analysis; COPD; exacerbations; genetics; surfactant protein B; single nucleotide polymorphisms
The principal determining factors influencing the development of the airway disease and emphysema components of COPD have not been clearly defined. Genetic variability in COPD patients might influence the varying degrees of involvement of airway disease and emphysema. Therefore, we investigated genetic association of SNPs in COPD candidate genes for association with emphysema severity and airway wall thickness phenotypes.
Polymorphisms in six candidate genes were analyzed in 379 subjects of the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) Genetics Ancillary Study with quantitative chest CT data. Genetic association with percent of lung below −950 hounsfield units (LAA950), airway wall thickness (WT), and derived square root wall area of 10 mm internal perimeter airways (SRWA) were investigated.
Three SNPs in EPHX1, five SNPs in SERPINE2, and one SNP in GSTP1 were significantly associated with LAA950. Five SNPs in TGFB1, two SNPs in EPHX1, one SNP in SERPINE2, and two SNPs in ADRB2 were associated with airway wall phenotypes in NETT.
In conclusion, several COPD candidate genes showed evidence for association with airway wall thickness and emphysema severity using CT in a severe COPD population. Further investigation will be required to replicate these genetic associations for emphysema and airway wall phenotypes.
Airway; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; computed tomography; emphysema; genetic association
Debate continues as to whether acute bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) predicts long-term outcomes in COPD. Furthermore, there is no consensus on a threshold for BDR.
At baseline and during the 4-year Understanding Potential Long-term Improvements in Function with Tiotropium (UPLIFT®) trial, patients had spirometry performed before and after administration of ipratropium bromide 80 mcg and albuterol 400 mcg. Patients were split according to three BDR thresholds: ≥12% + ≥200 mL above baseline (criterion A), ≥15% above baseline (criterion B); and ≥10% absolute increase in percent predicted FEV1 values (criterion C). Several outcomes (pre-dose spirometry, exacerbations, St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire [SGRQ] total score) were assessed according to presence or absence of BDR in the treatment groups.
5783 of 5993 randomized patients had evaluable pre- and post-bronchodilator spirometry at baseline. Mean age (SD) was 64 (8) years, with 75% men, mean post-bronchodilator FEV1 1.33 ± 0.44 L (47.6 ± 12.7% predicted) and 30% current smokers. At baseline, 52%, 66%, and 39% of patients had acute BDR using criterion A, B, and C, respectively. The presence of BDR was variable at follow-up visits. Statistically significant improvements in spirometry and health outcomes occurred with tiotropium regardless of the baseline BDR or criterion used.
A large proportion of COPD patients demonstrate significant acute BDR. BDR in these patients is variable over time and differs according to the criterion used. BDR status at baseline does not predict long-term response to tiotropium. Assessment of acute BDR should not be used as a decision-making tool when prescribing tiotropium to patients with COPD.
In the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), marked variability in response to lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) was observed. We sought to identify genetic differences which may explain some of this variability.
In 203 subjects from the NETT Genetics Ancillary Study, four outcome measures were used to define response to LVRS at six months: modified BODE index, post-bronchodilator FEV1, maximum work achieved on a cardiopulmonary exercise test, and University of California, San Diego shortness of breath questionnaire. Sixty-four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in five genes previously shown to be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease susceptibility, exercise capacity, or emphysema distribution.
A SNP upstream from glutathione S-transferase pi (GSTP1; p = 0.003) and a coding SNP in microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1; p = 0.02) were each associated with change in BODE score. These effects appeared to be strongest in patients in the non-upper lobe predominant, low exercise subgroup. A promoter SNP in EPHX1 was associated with change in BODE score (p = 0.008), with the strongest effects in patients with upper lobe predominant emphysema and low exercise capacity. One additional SNP in GSTP1 and three additional SNPs in EPHX1 were associated (p < 0.05) with additional LVRS outcomes. None of these SNP effects were seen in 166 patients randomized to medical therapy.
Genetic variants in GSTP1 and EPHX1, two genes encoding xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, were predictive of response to LVRS. These polymorphisms may identify patients most likely to benefit from LVRS.
Numerous studies have demonstrated associations between genetic markers and COPD, but results have been inconsistent. One reason may be heterogeneity in disease definition. Unsupervised learning approaches may assist in understanding disease heterogeneity.
We selected 31 phenotypic variables and 12 SNPs from five candidate genes in 308 subjects in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) Genetics Ancillary Study cohort. We used factor analysis to select a subset of phenotypic variables, and then used cluster analysis to identify subtypes of severe emphysema. We examined the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of each cluster.
We identified six factors accounting for 75% of the shared variability among our initial phenotypic variables. We selected four phenotypic variables from these factors for cluster analysis: 1) post-bronchodilator FEV1 percent predicted, 2) percent bronchodilator responsiveness, and quantitative CT measurements of 3) apical emphysema and 4) airway wall thickness. K-means cluster analysis revealed four clusters, though separation between clusters was modest: 1) emphysema predominant, 2) bronchodilator responsive, with higher FEV1; 3) discordant, with a lower FEV1 despite less severe emphysema and lower airway wall thickness, and 4) airway predominant. Of the genotypes examined, membership in cluster 1 (emphysema-predominant) was associated with TGFB1 SNP rs1800470.
Cluster analysis may identify meaningful disease subtypes and/or groups of related phenotypic variables even in a highly selected group of severe emphysema subjects, and may be useful for genetic association studies.
To assess the feasibility of developing a Combined Clinical and Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test, comprised of multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that is associated with poor bronchodilator response (BDR).
We genotyped SNPs that tagged the whole genome of the parents and children in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) and implemented an algorithm using a family-based association test that ranked SNPs by statistical power. The top eight SNPs that were associated with BDR comprised the Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test. The Clinical Predictive Test was comprised of baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1). We evaluated these predictive tests and a Combined Clinical and Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test in three distinct populations: the children of the CAMP trial and two additional clinical trial populations of asthma. Our outcome measure was poor BDR, defined as BDR of less than 20th percentile in each population. BDR was calculated as the percent difference between the prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator (two puffs of albuterol at 180 μg/puff) FEV1 value. To assess the predictive ability of the test, the corresponding area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROCs) were calculated for each population.
The AUROC values for the Clinical Predictive Test alone were not significantly different from 0.50, the AUROC of a random classifier. Our Combined Clinical and Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test comprised of genetic polymorphisms in addition to FEV1 predicted poor BDR with an AUROC of 0.65 in the CAMP children (n= 422) and 0.60 (n= 475) and 0.63 (n= 235) in the two independent populations. Both the Combined Clinical and Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test and the Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test were significantly more accurate than the Clinical Predictive Test (AUROC between 0.44 and 0.55) in each of the populations.
Our finding that genetic polymorphisms with a clinical trait are associated with BDR suggests that there is promise in using multiple genetic polymorphisms simultaneously to predict which asthmatics are likely to respond poorly to bronchodilators.
asthma; bronchodilator response; personalized medicine; pharmacogenetic test; predictive medicine
Among asthmatics, bronchodilator response (BDR) to inhaled ß2- adrenergic agonists is variable, and the significance of a consistent response over time is unknown.
We assessed baseline clinical variables and determined the clinical outcomes associated with a consistently positive BDR over 4 years in children with mild-moderate persistent asthma.
In the 1,041 participants in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP), subjects with a change in FEV1 of 12% or greater (and 200mLs) after inhaled ß2 agonist at each of their yearly follow-up visits (consistent BDR) were compared with those who did not have a consistent BDR.
We identified 52 children with consistent BDR over the 4-year trial. Multivariable logistic regression modeling demonstrated that baseline pre-bronchodilator FEV1 (OR=0.71, p<0.0001), log 10 IgE level (OR=1.97, p=0.002), and lack of treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (OR=0.31, p=0.009) were associated with a consistent BDR. Individuals who had a consistent BDR had more hospital visits (p=0.007), required more prednisone bursts (p=0.0007), had increased nocturnal awakenings due to asthma (p<0.0001), and missed more days of school (p=0.03) than non-responders during the 4-year follow-up.
We have identified predictors of consistent BDR and determined that this phenotype is associated with poor clinical outcomes.
asthma; consistent bronchodilator response; outcomes
Severe α1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a proven genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially in individuals who smoke. There is marked variability in the development of lung disease in individuals homozygous (PI ZZ) for this autosomal recessive condition, suggesting that modifier genes could be important. We hypothesized that genetic determinants of obstructive lung disease may be modifiers of airflow obstruction in individuals with severe AAT deficiency. To identify modifier genes, we performed family-based association analyses for 10 genes previously associated with asthma and/or COPD, including IL10, TNF, GSTP1, NOS1, NOS3, SERPINA3, SERPINE2, SFTPB, TGFB1, and EPHX1. All analyses were performed in a cohort of 378 PI ZZ individuals from 167 families. Quantitative spirometric phenotypes included forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the ratio of FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC). A qualitative phenotype of moderate-to-severe COPD was defined for individuals with FEV1 ⩽ 50 percent predicted. Six of 11 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL10 (P = 0.0005–0.05) and 3 of 5 SNPs in TNF (P = 0.01–0.05) were associated with FEV1 and/or FEV1/FVC. IL10 SNPs also demonstrated association with the qualitative COPD phenotype. When phenotypes of individuals with a physician's diagnosis of asthma were excluded, IL10 SNPs remained significantly associated, suggesting that the association with airflow obstruction was independent of an association with asthma. Haplotype analysis of IL10 SNPs suggested the strongest association with IL10 promoter SNPs. IL10 is likely an important modifier gene for the development of COPD in individuals with severe AAT deficiency.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic modifiers; interleukin 10; family-based association analysis
A pro-asthmatic culture milieu and β2-agonist (isoproterenol) were previously shown to regulate the expression of select transcription factors (TFs) within human airway epithelial and smooth muscle cells. This study tests 1116 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across 98 of these TF genes for association with bronchodilator response (BDR) in asthma patients. Genotyping was conducted using the Illumina HumanHap550v3 Beadchip in 403 non-Hispanic White asthmatic children and their parents. SNPs were evaluated for association with BDR using family and population-based analyses. Forty-two SNPs providing p values < 0.1 in both analyses were then genotyped in three adult asthma trials. One SNP 5’ of the thyroid hormone receptor beta gene was associated with BDR in the childhood population and two adult populations (p value = 0.0012). This investigation identified a novel locus for inter-individual variability in BDR and represents a translation of a cellular drug-response study to potential personalization of clinical asthma management.
Bronchodilator response; transcription factor; association; thyroid hormone receptor β; asthma; pharmacogenetics
Although asthma is highly prevalent among certain Hispanic subgroups, genetic determinants of asthma and asthma‐related traits have not been conclusively identified in Hispanic populations. A study was undertaken to identify genomic regions containing susceptibility loci for pulmonary function and bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) in Costa Ricans.
Eight extended pedigrees were ascertained through schoolchildren with asthma in the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Short tandem repeat (STR) markers were genotyped throughout the genome at an average spacing of 8.2 cM. Multipoint variance component linkage analyses of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and FEV1/ forced vital capacity (FVC; both pre‐bronchodilator and post‐bronchodilator) and BDR were performed in these eight families (pre‐bronchodilator spirometry, n = 640; post‐bronchodilator spirometry and BDR, n = 624). Nine additional STR markers were genotyped on chromosome 7. Secondary analyses were repeated after stratification by cigarette smoking.
Among all subjects, the highest logarithm of the odds of linkage (LOD) score for FEV1 (post‐bronchodilator) was found on chromosome 7q34–35 (LOD = 2.45, including the additional markers). The highest LOD scores for FEV1/FVC (pre‐bronchodilator) and BDR were found on chromosomes 2q (LOD = 1.53) and 9p (LOD = 1.53), respectively. Among former and current smokers there was near‐significant evidence of linkage to FEV1/FVC (post‐bronchodilator) on chromosome 5p (LOD = 3.27) and suggestive evidence of linkage to FEV1 on chromosomes 3q (pre‐bronchodilator, LOD = 2.74) and 4q (post‐bronchodilator, LOD = 2.66).
In eight families of children with asthma in Costa Rica, there is suggestive evidence of linkage to FEV1 on chromosome 7q34–35. In these families, FEV1/FVC may be influenced by an interaction between cigarette smoking and a locus (loci) on chromosome 5p.
Rationale: Inhaled β-agonists are one of the most widely used classes of drugs for the treatment of asthma. However, a substantial proportion of patients with asthma do not have a favorable response to these drugs, and identifying genetic determinants of drug response may aid in tailoring treatment for individual patients.
Objectives: To screen variants in candidate genes in the steroid and β-adrenergic pathways for association with response to inhaled β-agonists.
Methods: We genotyped 844 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 111 candidate genes in 209 children and their parents participating in the Childhood Asthma Management Program. We screened the association of these SNPs with acute response to inhaled β-agonists (bronchodilator response [BDR]) using a novel algorithm implemented in a family-based association test that ranked SNPs in order of statistical power. Genes that had SNPs with median power in the highest quartile were then taken for replication analyses in three other asthma cohorts.
Measurements and Main Results: We identified 17 genes from the screening algorithm and genotyped 99 SNPs from these genes in a second population of patients with asthma. We then genotyped 63 SNPs from four genes with significant associations with BDR, for replication in a third and fourth population of patients with asthma. Evidence for association from the four asthma cohorts was combined, and SNPs from ARG1 were significantly associated with BDR. SNP rs2781659 survived Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (combined P value = 0.00048, adjusted P value = 0.047).
Conclusions: These findings identify ARG1 as a novel gene for acute BDR in both children and adults with asthma.
pharmacogenetics; asthma; bronchodilator agents
The aim of this study was to investigate bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) following methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction and to determine differences in BDR according to clinical parameters in children with asthma.
The methacholine challenge test was performed in 145 children with mild to moderate asthma, and the provocative concentration causing a 20% decline in FEV1 (PC20) was determined. Immediately after the challenge test, patients were asked to inhale short-acting β2-agonists (SABAs) to achieve BDR, which was assessed as the change in FEV1% predicted×100/post-methacholine FEV1% predicted. For each subject, the asthma medication, blood eosinophil count, serum total IgE, serum eosinophil cationic protein level, and skin prick test result were assessed.
The FEV1 (mean±SD) values of the 145 patients were 90.5±10.9% predicted, 64.2±11.5% predicted, and 86.2±11.2% predicted before and after methacholine inhalation, and following the administration of a SABA, respectively. The BDR did not differ significantly according to asthma medication, age, or gender. However, BDR in the atopy group (37.4±17.7%) was significantly higher than that in the non-atopy group (30.5±10.7%; P=0.037). Patients with blood eosinophilia (38.6±18.1%) displayed increased BDR compared with patients without eosinophilia (32.0±13.8%; P=0.037).
In children with mild to moderate asthma, the responsiveness to short-acting bronchodilators after methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction was not related to asthma medication, but was higher in children with atopy and/or peripheral blood eosinophilia.
Atopy; asthma; beta-adrenergic agonist; child; eosinophilia; methacholine
SERPINE2 (serpin peptidase inhibitor, clade E, member 2) has previously been identified as a positional candidate gene for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has subsequently been associated to COPD and emphysema in several populations. We aimed to further examine the role of SERPINE2 polymorphisms in the development of pulmonary emphysema and different emphysema subtypes.
Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SERPINE2 were analyzed from 951 clinically and radiologically examined Finnish construction workers. The genotype and haplotype data was compared to different emphysematous signs confirmed with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), diffusing capacity (DLCO), and specific diffusing capacity (DLCO/VA).
Three of the studied SERPINE2 SNPs (rs729631, rs975278, and rs6748795) were found to be in tight linkage disequilibrium. Therefore, only one of these SNPs (rs729631) was included in the subsequent analyses, in addition to the rs840088 SNP which was in moderate linkage with the other three studied SNPs. The rs729631 SNP showed a significant association with panlobular emphysema (p = 0.003). In further analysis, the variant allele of the rs729631 SNP was found to pose over two-fold risk (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.05-4.72) for overall panlobular changes and over four-fold risk (OR 4.37, 95% CI 1.61-11.86) for pathological panlobular changes. A haplotype consisting of variant alleles of both rs729631 and rs840088 SNPs was found to pose an almost four-fold risk for overall panlobular (OR 3.72, 95% CI 1.56-8.90) and subnormal (OR 3.98, 95% CI 1.55-10.20) emphysema.
Our results support the previously found association between SERPINE2 polymorphisms and pulmonary emphysema. As a novel finding, our study suggests that the SERPINE2 gene may in particular be involved in the development of panlobular changes, i.e., the same type of changes that are involved in alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) -deficiency.
The GOLD guidelines suggest that the presence of a post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) < 80% of the predicted value in combination with a FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) < 70% confirms the diagnosis of COPD. Limited data exist regarding the accuracy of these criteria to distinguish between COPD and asthma. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the diagnostic value of post-bronchodilator lung function parameters in obstructive lung disease.
The pulmonary function tests of 43 (22 = COPD, 21 = asthma) patients with similar baseline characteristics were evaluated (baseline FEV1 were 55.7% ± 7.6%, and 59.3% ± 8.4% predicted for COPD and asthma, respectively). Bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) was calculated according to three recognized pulmonary function test criteria.
The first criteria, post-bronchodilator FEV1 < 80% of the predicted value in combination with a post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio of <70%, had an accuracy of 70% to diagnose COPD. This combination was very sensitive (100%) in diagnosing COPD, but it was not specific (38%). The second BDR criteria, defined as an increase of <12% and 200 mL of initial FEV1 and criterion number 3, an increase of < 9% of predicted FEV1, were less sensitive (55% and 59%, respectively), but more specific (81% and 76% respectively) to diagnose COPD. Our findings suggest that the current recommended spirometric indices are not optimal in differentiating between COPD and asthma.
obstructive lung disease; diagnosis; post-bronchodilator pulmonary function test
Short-acting b2-adrenergic receptor agonists are commonly used bronchodilators for symptom relief in asthmatics. The aim of this study was to test whether genetic variants in PDE4D gene, a key regulator of b2-adrenoceptor-induced cAMP turnover in airway smooth muscle cells, affect the response to short-acting b2-agonists. Bronchodilator responsiveness was assessed in 133 asthmatic children by % change in baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) after administration of albuterol. The analyses were performed in patients with airway obstruction (FEV1/FVC ratio below 90%, n = 93). FEV1 % change adjusted for baseline FEV1 values was significantly different between genotypes of rs1544791 G/A polymorphism (P = 0.006) and −1345 C/T (rs1504982) promoter variation (P = 0.03). The association remained significant with inclusion of age, sex, atopy, and controller medication into multivariate model (P = 0.004
and P = 0.02, resp.). Our work identifies new genetic variants implicated in modulation of asthma treatment, one of them (rs1544791) previously associated with asthma phenotype.
Rationale: β2-agonists, the most common treatment for asthma, have a wide interindividual variability in response, which is partially attributed to genetic factors. We previously identified single nucleotide polymorphisms in the arginase 1 (ARG1) gene, which are associated with β2-agonist bronchodilator response (BDR).
Objectives: To identify cis-acting haplotypes in the ARG1 locus that are associated with BDR in patients with asthma and regulate gene expression in vitro.
Methods: We resequenced ARG1 in 96 individuals and identified three common, 5′ haplotypes (denoted 1, 2, and 3). A haplotype-based association analysis of BDR was performed in three independent, adult asthma drug trial populations. Next, each haplotype was cloned into vectors containing a luciferase reporter gene and transfected into human airway epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) to ascertain its effect on gene expression.
Measurements and Main Results: BDR varied by haplotype in each of the three populations with asthma. Individuals with haplotype 1 were more likely to have higher BDR, compared to those with haplotypes 2 and 3, which is supported by odds ratios of 1.25 (95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.71) and 2.18 (95% confidence interval, 1.34–2.52), respectively. Luciferase expression was 50% greater in cells transfected with haplotype 1 compared to haplotypes 2 and 3.
Conclusions: The identified ARG1 haplotypes seem to alter BDR and differentially regulate gene expression with a concordance of decreased BDR and reporter activity from haplotypes 2 and 3. These findings may facilitate pharmacogenetic tests to predict individuals who may benefit from other therapeutic agents in addition to β2-agonists for optimal asthma management.
Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00156819, NCT00046644, and NCT00073840).
pharmacogenetics; asthma; β2-agonist
Bronchodilator responses (BDR) are routinely used in the diagnosis and management of asthma; however, their acceptability and repeatability have not been evaluated using quality control criteria for preschool children.
To compare conventional spirometry with an impulse oscillometry system (IOS) in healthy and asthmatic preschool children.
Data from 30 asthmatic children and 29 controls (two to six years of age) who underwent IOS and spirometry before and after salbutamol administration were analyzed.
Stable asthmatic subjects significantly differed versus controls in their spirometry-assessed BDR (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1], forced vital capacity and forced expiratory flow at 25% to 75% of forced vital capacity) as well as their IOS-assessed BDR (respiratory resistance at 5 Hz [Rrs5], respiratory reactance at 5 Hz and area under the reactance curve). However, comparisons based on the area under the ROC curve for ΔFEV1 % initial versus ΔRrs5 % initial were 0.82 (95% CI 0.71 to 0.93) and 0.75 (95% CI 0.62 to 0.87), respectively. Moreover, the sensitivity and specificity for ΔFEV1 ≥9% were 0.53 and 0.93, respectively. Importantly, sensitivity increased to 0.63 when either ΔFEV1 ≥9% or ΔRrs5 ≥29% was considered as an additional criterion for the diagnosis of asthma.
The accuracy of asthma diagnosis in preschool children may be increased by combining spirometry with IOS when measuring BDR.
Asthma; Bronchodilator agents; Oscillometry; Preschool; Spirometry
Criteria for a clinically significant bronchodilator response (BDR) are mainly based on studies in patients with obstructive lung diseases. Little is known about the BDR in healthy general populations, and even less about the worldwide patterns.
10 360 adults aged 40 years and older from 14 countries in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia participated in the Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease study. Spirometry was used before and after an inhaled bronchodilator to determine the distribution of the BDR in population-based samples of healthy non-smokers and individuals with airflow obstruction.
In 3922 healthy never smokers, the weighted pooled estimate of the 95th percentiles (95% CI) for bronchodilator response were 284 ml (263 to 305) absolute change in forced expiratory volume in 1 s from baseline (ΔFEV1); 12.0% (11.2% to 12.8%) change relative to initial value (%ΔFEV1i); and 10.0% (9.5% to 10.5%) change relative to predicted value (%ΔFEV1p). The corresponding mean changes in forced vital capacity (FVC) were 322 ml (271 to 373) absolute change from baseline (ΔFVC); 10.5% (8.9% to 12.0%) change relative to initial value (ΔFVCi); and 9.2% (7.9% to 10.5%) change relative to predicted value (ΔFVCp). The proportion who exceeded the above threshold values in the subgroup with spirometrically defined Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage 2 and higher (FEV1/FVC <0.7 and FEV1% predicted <80%) were 11.1%, 30.8% and 12.9% respectively for the FEV1-based thresholds and 22.6%, 28.6% and 22.1% respectively for the FVC-based thresholds.
The results provide reference values for bronchodilator responses worldwide that confirm guideline estimates for a clinically significant level of BDR in bronchodilator testing.
Bronchodilator response; spirometry; populations; COPD epidemiology; COPD exacerbations; emphysema; respiratory measurement; asthma epidemiology; clinical epidemiology; bronchoscopy; asthma; occupational lung disease; tobacco and the lung; COPD mechanisms
TGF-β1 is a cytokine with many different effects on cell proliferation, differentiation and inflammation and can protect against the development of COPD. This work aims to study the association between COPD and the TGF-β1 gene genotypes.
Material and methods
The study included 70 males: 25 smokers with COPD, 25 resistant smokers, and 20 normal non-smokers as the control. They were subjected to spirometry pre- and post-bronchodilator (FEV1, FEV1/FVC), estimation of serum level of TGF-β1 gene by PCR and RFLP.
The percent of Pro-Leu was 28% in the COPD group, 84% in the resistant smokers group and 85% in the control group. There was a highly significant statistical difference in FEV1% of predicted associated with the distribution of TGF-β1 gene genotypes: 56.9 ±8.4% with Pro-Leu genotype and 35.5 ±8.8% with Leu-Leu genotype in COPD patients, 93.2 ±6.2% with Pro-Leu genotype and 86.7 ±0.9% with Leu-Leu genotype in the resistant smokers group.
The Pro-allele genotype is associated with increased production of TGF-β1, which has a protective role against the development of COPD and is important in preserving the decline of FEV1 in COPD patients.
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; leucine; proline domains
The forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), felt to be an objective measure of airway obstruction, is often normal in asthmatic children. The forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of vital capacity (FEF25-75) reflects small airway patency and has been found to be reduced in children with asthma. The aim of this study was to determine if FEF25-75 is associated with increased childhood asthma severity and morbidity in the setting of a normal FEV1, and to determine if bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) as defined by FEF25-75 identifies more childhood asthmatics than does BDR defined by FEV1.
The Children’s Hospital Boston Pulmonary Function Test database was queried and the most recent spirometry result was retrieved for 744 children diagnosed with asthma between 10–18 years of age between October 2000 and October 2010. Electronic medical records in the 1 year prior and the 1 year following the date of spirometry were examined for asthma severity (mild, moderate or severe) and morbidity outcomes for three age, race and gender-matched subgroups: group A (n= 35) had a normal FEV1, FEV1/FVC and FEF25-75; Group B (n= 36) had solely a diminished FEV1/FVC; and Group C (n=37) had a normal FEV1, low FEV1/FVC and low FEF25-75. Morbidity outcomes analyzed included the presence of hospitalization, emergency department visit, intensive care unit admission, asthma exacerbation, and systemic steroid use.
Subjects with a low FEF25-75 (Group C) had nearly 3 times the odds (OR 2.8, p<0.01) of systemic corticosteroid use and 6 times the odds of asthma exacerbations (OR 6.3, p>0.01) compared with those who had normal spirometry (Group A). Using FEF25-75 to define bronchodilator responsiveness identified 53% more subjects with asthma than did using a definition based on FEV1.
A low FEF25-75 in the setting of a normal FEV1 is associated with increased asthma severity, systemic steroid use and asthma exacerbations in children. In addition, using the percent change in FEF25-75 from baseline may be helpful in identifying bronchodilator responsiveness in asthmatic children with a normal FEV1.
spirometry; childhood asthma; FEF25-75; bronchodilator responsiveness
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of poor asthma control to bronchodilator response (BDR) phenotypes in children with normal spirometry.
Asthmatic children were assessed for clinical indices of poorly controlled asthma. Pre and post bronchodilator spirometry were performed and the percent BDR determined. Multivariate logistic regression assessed the relationship of the clinical indices to BDR at ≥8%, ≥10% and ≥12% BDR thresholds.
There were 510 controller naïve, and 169 on controller medication. In the controller naïve population the mean age (± 1SD) was 9.5 (3.4), 57.1% were male, 85.7% Hispanic. Demographics were similar in both populations. In the adjusted profile, significant clinical relationships were found particularly to positive BDR phenotypes ≥10% and ≥12% versus negative responses including younger age, (odds ratios (OR) 2.0, 2.5; P <.05), atopy (OR 1.9, 2.6;P< .01), nocturnal symptoms in females (OR 3.4, 3.8;P< .01); beta2 agonist use (OR 1.7, 2.8;P< .01); and exercise limitation (OR 2.2, 2.5;P< .01) only in the controller naïve population.
The BDR phenotype ≥10% is significantly related to poor asthma control providing a potentially useful objective tool in controller naïve children even when prebronchodilator spirometry is normal.
Pulmonary function; Pediatric; Bronchial asthma
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by alveolar destruction and abnormal inflammatory responses to noxious stimuli. Surfactant protein–D (SFTPD) is immunomodulatory and essential to host defense. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in SFTPD could influence the susceptibility to COPD. We genotyped six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in surfactant protein D in 389 patients with COPD in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) and 472 smoking control subjects from the Normative Aging Study (NAS). Case-control association analysis was performed using Cochran–Armitage trend tests and multivariate logistic regression. The replication of significant associations was attempted in the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study, the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE) Study, and the Bergen Cohort. We also correlated SFTPD genotypes with serum concentrations of surfactant protein–D (SP-D) in the ECLIPSE Study. In the NETT–NAS case-control analysis, four SFTPD SNPs were associated with susceptibility to COPD: rs2245121 (P = 0.01), rs911887 (P = 0.006), rs6413520 (P = 0.004), and rs721917 (P = 0.006). In the family-based analysis of the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study, rs911887 was associated with prebronchodilator and postbronchodilator FEV1 (P = 0.003 and P = 0.02, respectively). An intronic SNP in SFTPD, rs7078012, was associated with COPD in the ECLIPSE Study and the Bergen Cohort. Multiple SFTPD SNPs were associated with serum SP-D concentrations in the ECLIPSE Study. We demonstrated an association of polymorphisms in SFTPD with COPD in multiple populations. We demonstrated a correlation between SFTPD SNPs and SP-D protein concentrations. The SNPs associated with COPD and SP-D concentrations differed, suggesting distinct genetic influences on susceptibility to COPD and SP-D concentrations.
COPD; surfactant protein–D; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; genetics
Superoxide dismutase-3 (SOD3) is a major extracellular antioxidant enzyme, and previous studies have indicated a possible role of this gene in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that polymorphisms in the SOD3 gene would be associated with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes.
We genotyped three SOD3 polymorphisms (rs8192287 (E1), rs8192288 (I1) and rs1799895 (R213G)) in a case-control cohort, with severe COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT, n=389) and smoking controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS, n=472). We examined whether the SNPs were associated with COPD status, lung function variables, and quantitative CT measurements of emphysema and airway wall thickness. Further, we tried to replicate our initial findings in two family-based studies, the International COPD Genetics Network (ICGN, n=3061) and the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study (EOCOPD, n=949).
In NETT COPD cases, the minor alleles of SNPs E1 and I1 were associated with a higher percentage of emphysema (%LAA950) on chest CT scan (p=0.029 and p=0.0058). The association with E1 was replicated in the ICGN family study, where the minor allele was associated with more emphysema (p=0.048). Airway wall thickness was positively associated with the E1 SNP in ICGN; however, this finding was not confirmed in NETT. Quantitative CT data were not available in EOCOPD. The SNPs were not associated with lung function variables or COPD status in any of the populations.
In conclusion, polymorphisms in the SOD3 gene were associated with CT emphysema but not COPD susceptibility, highlighting the importance of phenotype definition in COPD genetics studies.