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1.  Genetic Associations With Hypoxemia and Pulmonary Arterial Pressure in COPD* 
Chest  2008;135(3):737-744.
Background
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1378/chest.08-1993
PMCID: PMC2906241  PMID: 19017876
case-control studies; COPD; genetics; phenotype; single-nucleotide polymorphism
2.  Genome-Wide Association Analysis in Asthma Subjects Identifies SPATS2L as a Novel Bronchodilator Response Gene 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002824.
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.
Author Summary
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002824
PMCID: PMC3390407  PMID: 22792082
3.  Association of COPD candidate genes with CT emphysema and airway phenotypes in severe COPD 
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.
doi:10.1183/09031936.00173009
PMCID: PMC3074301  PMID: 20525719
Airway; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; computed tomography; emphysema; genetic association
4.  Polymorphic Variation in Surfactant Protein B is Associated with COPD Exacerbations 
Rationale
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.
Methods
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.
Conclusions
Variants in SFTPB are associated with COPD susceptibility and COPD exacerbation frequency.
doi:10.1183/09031936.00040208
PMCID: PMC2761762  PMID: 18550614
association analysis; COPD; exacerbations; genetics; surfactant protein B; single nucleotide polymorphisms
5.  Genetic Association Analysis of Functional Impairment in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Rationale: Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have varying levels of disability despite similar levels of lung function. This variation may reflect different COPD subtypes, which may have different genetic predispositions.
Objectives: To identify genetic associations for COPD-related phenotypes, including measures of exercise capacity, pulmonary function, and respiratory symptoms.
Methods: In 304 subjects from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial, we genotyped 80 markers in 22 positional and/or biologically plausible candidate genes. Regression models were used to test for association, using a test–replication approach to guard against false-positive results. For significant associations, effect estimates were recalculated using the entire cohort. Positive associations with dyspnea were confirmed in families from the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study.
Results: The test–replication approach identified four genes—microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1), latent transforming growth factor-β binding protein-4 (LTBP4), surfactant protein B (SFTPB), and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFB1)—that were associated with COPD-related phenotypes. In all subjects, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in EPHX1 (p ⩽ 0.03) and in LTBP4 (p ⩽ 0.03) were associated with maximal output on cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Markers in LTBP4 (p ⩽ 0.05) and SFTPB (p = 0.005) were associated with 6-min walk test distance. SNPs in EPHX1 were associated with carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (p ⩽ 0.04). Three SNPs in TGFB1 were associated with dyspnea (p ⩽ 0.002), one of which replicated in the family study (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Polymorphisms in several genes seem to be associated with COPD-related traits other than FEV1. These associations may identify genes in pathways important for COPD pathogenesis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200509-1452OC
PMCID: PMC2662917  PMID: 16456143
dyspnea; emphysema; exercise tolerance; genetic association; pulmonary function tests
6.  Airway wall thickness is increased in COPD patients with bronchodilator responsiveness 
Respiratory Research  2014;15(1):84.
Rationale
Bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) is a common but variable phenomenon in COPD. The CT characteristics of airway dimensions that differentiate COPD subjects with BDR from those without BDR have not been well described. We aimed to assess airway dimensions in COPD subjects with and without BDR.
Methods
We analyzed subjects with GOLD 1–4 disease in the COPDGene® study who had CT airway analysis. We divided patients into two groups: BDR + (post bronchodilator ΔFEV1 ≥ 10%) and BDR-(post bronchodilator ΔFEV1 < 10%). The mean wall area percent (WA%) of six segmental bronchi in each subject was quantified using VIDA. Using 3D SLICER, airway wall thickness was also expressed as the square root wall area of an airway of 10 mm (Pi10) and 15 mm (Pi15) diameter. %Emphysema and %gas trapping were also calculated.
Results
2355 subjects in the BDR-group and 1306 in the BDR + group formed our analysis. The BDR + group had a greater Pi10, Pi15, and mean segmental WA% compared to the BDR-group. In multivariate logistic regression using gender, race, current smoking, history of asthma, %emphysema, %gas trapping, %predicted FEV1, and %predicted FVC, airway wall measures remained independent predictors of BDR. Using a threshold change in FEV1 ≥ 15% and FEV1 ≥ 12% and 200 mL to divide patients into groups, the results were similar.
Conclusion
BDR in COPD is independently associated with CT evidence of airway pathology. This study provides us with greater evidence of changes in lung structure that correlate with physiologic manifestations of airflow obstruction in COPD.
doi:10.1186/s12931-014-0084-3
PMCID: PMC4198908  PMID: 25248436
Bronchodilator responsiveness; Airway wall thickness; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Airflow obstruction
7.  Development of a Pharmacogenetic Predictive Test in asthma: proof of concept 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2010;20(2):86-93.
Objective
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).
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1097/FPC.0b013e32833428d0
PMCID: PMC3654515  PMID: 20032818
asthma; bronchodilator response; personalized medicine; pharmacogenetic test; predictive medicine
8.  IL10 Polymorphisms Are Associated with Airflow Obstruction in Severe α1-Antitrypsin Deficiency 
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.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2007-0107OC
PMCID: PMC2176135  PMID: 17690329
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic modifiers; interleukin 10; family-based association analysis
9.  Xenobiotic metabolizing enzyme gene polymorphisms predict response to lung volume reduction surgery 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):59.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-8-59
PMCID: PMC2048957  PMID: 17686149
10.  Acute bronchodilator responsiveness and health outcomes in COPD patients in the UPLIFT trial 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):6.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-12-6
PMCID: PMC3027109  PMID: 21219660
11.  Cluster analysis in severe emphysema subjects using phenotype and genotype data: an exploratory investigation 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):30.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-11-30
PMCID: PMC2850331  PMID: 20233420
12.  ARG1 Is a Novel Bronchodilator Response Gene 
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.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200709-1363OC
PMCID: PMC2556451  PMID: 18617639
pharmacogenetics; asthma; bronchodilator agents
13.  Clinical Predictors and Outcomes of Consistent Bronchodilator Response in the Childhood Asthma Management Program 
Background
Among asthmatics, bronchodilator response (BDR) to inhaled ß2- adrenergic agonists is variable, and the significance of a consistent response over time is unknown.
Objective
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
We have identified predictors of consistent BDR and determined that this phenotype is associated with poor clinical outcomes.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.09.004
PMCID: PMC2947830  PMID: 18848350
asthma; consistent bronchodilator response; outcomes
14.  POLYMORPHISMS IN THE SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE-3 GENE ARE ASSOCIATED WITH EMPHYSEMA IN COPD 
COPD  2010;7(4):262-268.
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.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2010.496821
PMCID: PMC2923920  PMID: 20673035
15.  Bronchodilator Responsiveness in Wheezy Infants and Toddlers is Not Associated with Asthma Risk Factors 
Pediatric Pulmonology  2011;47(5):421-428.
Background
There are limited data assessing bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) in infants and toddlers with recurrent wheezing, and factors associated with a positive response.
Objectives
In a multicenter study of children ≤ 36 months old we assessed the prevalence of and factors associated with BDR among infants/toddlers with recurrent episodes of wheezing.
Methods
Forced expiratory flows and volumes using the raised-volume rapid thoracic compression method were measured in 76 infants/toddlers (mean (sd) age 16.8 (7.6) mos.) with recurrent wheezing before and after administration of albuterol. Prior history of hospitalization or emergency department treatment for wheezing, use of inhaled or systemic corticosteroids, physician treatment of eczema, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and family history of asthma or allergic rhinitis were ascertained.
Results
Using the published upper limit of normal for post bronchodilator change (FEV0.5 ≥ 13% and/or FEF25–75 ≥ 24%) in healthy infants, 24% (n=18) of children in our study exhibited BDR. The BDR response was not associated with any clinical factor other than body size. Dichotomizing subjects into responders (defined by published limits of normal)or by quartile to identify children with the greatest change from baseline (4th quartile vs. other) did not identify any other factor associated with BDR.
Conclusions
Approximately one quarter of infants/toddlers with recurrent wheezing exhibited BDR at their clinical baseline. However, BDR in wheezy infants/toddlers was not associated with established clinical asthma risk factors.
doi:10.1002/ppul.21567
PMCID: PMC3325342  PMID: 22006677
recurrent wheezing; infants; pulmonary function; raised-volume rapid thoracoabdominal compression; bronchodilator responsiveness; asthma
16.  A polymorphism in the thyroid hormone receptor gene is associated with bronchodilator response in asthmatics 
The pharmacogenomics journal  2012;13(2):130-136.
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.
doi:10.1038/tpj.2011.56
PMCID: PMC3349771  PMID: 22212731
Bronchodilator response; transcription factor; association; thyroid hormone receptor β; asthma; pharmacogenetics
17.  Polymorphisms in Surfactant Protein–D Are Associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
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.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2009-0360OC
PMCID: PMC3095932  PMID: 20448057
COPD; surfactant protein–D; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; genetics
18.  bdrF2 of Lyme Disease Spirochetes Is Coexpressed with a Series of Cytoplasmic Proteins and Is Produced Specifically during Early Infection 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(1):175-184.
The Bdr proteins are polymorphic inner membrane proteins produced by most Borrelia species. In Borrelia burgdorferi B31MI, the18 bdr genes form three subfamilies, bdrD, bdrE, and bdrF. The production of at least one of the Bdr paralogs, BdrF2, is up-regulated in host-adapted spirochetes, suggesting a role for the protein in the mammalian environment. Here, we demonstrate using reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR that BBG29, BBG30, BBG31, and BBG32, which reside upstream of bdrF2, are cotranscribed with bdrF2 as a five-gene operon. While the functions of most of these proteins are unknown, BBG32 encodes a putative DNA helicase. Real-time RT-PCR analyses demonstrated higher levels of bdrF2 transcript relative to other genes of the operon, suggesting that bdrF2 may also be transcribed independently from an internal promoter. Internal promoters were detected using the 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends system. The putative promoter associated with bdrF2 was found to be highly similar in sequence to the multiple promoters associated with the ospC gene. Real-time RT-PCR analyses, performed to assess the expression of these genes in infected mice, revealed that genes of the bdrF2 locus are expressed only during early infection, suggesting a role in the establishment of infection. To further characterize the proteins encoded by the bdrF2 locus, which have unknown functions, the cellular localizations of these proteins were determined by Triton X-114 extraction and phase partitioning. BBG29 and BBG31 were found to be cytoplasmic. To determine if these proteins elicit an antibody (Ab) response during infection, immunoblot analyses were performed. Abs to these proteins were not detected. Based on the analyses presented here, we offer the hypothesis that BdrF2 and other proteins encoded by the operon form an inner-membrane-associated protein complex that may interact with DNA and which carries out its functional role during transmission or the early stages of infection.
doi:10.1128/JB.187.1.175-184.2005
PMCID: PMC538826  PMID: 15601701
19.  Diagnostic accuracy of the bronchodilator response in children 
Background
The bronchodilator response (BDR) reflects the reversibility of airflow obstruction and is recommended as an adjunctive test to diagnose asthma. The validity of the commonly used definition of BDR, a 12% or greater change in FEV1 from baseline, has been questioned in childhood.
Objectives
We sought to examine the diagnostic accuracy of the BDR test by using 3 large pediatric cohorts.
Methods
Cases include 1041 children with mild-to-moderate asthma from the Childhood Asthma Management Program.
Control subjects (nonasthmatic and nonwheezing) were chosen from Project Viva and Home Allergens, 2 population-based pediatric cohorts. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed, and areas under the curve were calculated for different BDR cutoffs.
Results
A total of 1041 cases (59.7% male; mean age, 8.9 ± 2.1 years) and 250 control subjects (46.8% male; mean age, 8.7 ± 1.7 years) were analyzed, with mean BDRs of 10.7% ± 10.2% and 2.7% ± 8.4%, respectively. The BDR test differentiated asthmatic patients from nonasthmatic patients with a moderate accuracy (area under the curve, 73.3%).
Despite good specificity, a cutoff of 12% was associated with poor sensitivity (35.6%). A cutoff of less than 8% performed significantly better than a cutoff of 12% (P = .03, 8% vs 12%).
Conclusions
Our findings highlight the poor sensitivity associated with the commonly used 12% cutoff for BDR. Although our data show that a threshold of less than 8% performs better than 12%, given the variability of this test in children, we conclude that it might be not be appropriate to choose a specific BDR cutoff as a criterion for the diagnosis of asthma.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.03.031
PMCID: PMC3759549  PMID: 23683464
Asthma; bronchodilator response; diagnosis
20.  Associations of IL6 polymorphisms with lung function decline and COPD 
Thorax  2009;64(8):698-704.
Background
Interleukin-6 (IL6) is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokine which likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD. There is a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), −174G/C, in the promoter region of IL6. We hypothesized that IL6 SNPs influence susceptibility for impaired lung function and COPD in smokers.
Methods
Seven and 5 SNPs in IL6 were genotyped in two nested case-control samples derived from the Lung Health Study (LHS) based on phenotypes of rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) over 5 years and baseline FEV1 at the beginning of the LHS. Serum IL6 concentrations were measured for all subjects. A partially overlapping panel of 9 IL6 SNPs was genotyped in 389 COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) and 420 controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS).
Results
In the LHS, three IL6 SNPs were associated with FEV1 decline (0.023 ≤ P ≤ 0.041 in additive models). Among them the IL6_−174C allele was associated with rapid decline of lung function. The association was more significant in a genotype-based analysis (P = 0.006). In the NETT-NAS study, IL6_−174G/C and four other IL6 SNPs, all of which are in linkage disequilibrium with IL6_−174G/C, were associated with susceptibility to COPD (0.01 ≤ P ≤ 0.04 in additive genetic models).
Conclusion
Our results suggest that the IL6_−174G/C SNP is associated with rapid decline of FEV1 and susceptibility to COPD in smokers.
doi:10.1136/thx.2008.111278
PMCID: PMC2859187  PMID: 19359268
genetic polymorphism; IL6; forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1); lung function; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
21.  Genome‐wide linkage analysis of pulmonary function in families of children with asthma in Costa Rica 
Thorax  2006;62(3):224-230.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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).
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1136/thx.2006.067934
PMCID: PMC2117166  PMID: 17099076
22.  The role of inhaled and/or nasal corticosteroids on the bronchodilator response 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2010;53(11):951-956.
Purpose
To compare the profiles of the bronchodilator response (BDR) among children with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis (AR) and to determine whether BDR in these children is reduced by treatment with inhaled and/or nasal corticosteroid.
Methods
Sixty-eight children with asthma (mean age, 10.9 years), 45 children with comorbid asthma and AR (mean age, 10.5 years), and 44 children with AR alone (mean age, 10.2 years) were investigated. After a 2-week baseline period, all children were treated with inhaled fluticasone propionate (either 100 or 250 µg b.i.d., tailored to asthma severity) or nasal fluticasone propionate (one spray b.i.d. in each nostril) or both, according to the condition. Before and 2 weeks after starting treatment, all children were evaluated with spirometry and bronchodilator testing. BDR was calculated as a percent change from the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) at baseline.
Results
The mean BDR was 10.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.3-12.4%] in children with asthma, 9.0% (95% CI 7.3-10.9%) in subjects with asthma and AR, and 5.0% (95% CI 4.1-5.9%) in children with AR alone (P<0.001). After treatment, the mean BDR was reduced to 5.2% (95% CI 4.2-6.3%) (P<0.001) in children with asthma and to 4.5% (95% CI 3.5-5.5%) (P<0.001) in children with asthma and AR. However, children with rhinitis showed no significant change in BDR after treatment, with the mean value being 4.7% (95% CI 3.7-5.8%) (P=0.597).
Conclusion
The findings of this study imply that an elevated BDR in children with AR cannot be attributed to nasal inflammation alone and highlights the close relationship between the upper and lower airways.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2010.53.11.951
PMCID: PMC3012275  PMID: 21218017
Bronchodilator response; Nasal corticosteroids; Inhaled corticosteroids; Asthma; Allergic rhinitis
23.  Analyses of association between PPAR gamma and EPHX1 polymorphisms and susceptibility to COPD in a Hungarian cohort, a case-control study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:152.
Background
In addition to smoking, genetic predisposition is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Genetic association studies of new candidate genes in COPD may lead to improved understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.
Methods
Two proposed casual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (rs1051740, rs2234922) in microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1) and three SNPs (rs1801282, rs1800571, rs3856806) in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG), a new candidate gene, were genotyped in a case-control study (272 COPD patients and 301 controls subjects) in Hungary. Allele frequencies and genotype distributions were compared between the two cohorts and trend test was also used to evaluate association between SNPs and COPD. To estimate the strength of association, odds ratios (OR) (with 95% CI) were calculated and potential confounding variables were tested in logistic regression analysis. Association between haplotypes and COPD outcome was also assessed.
Results
The distribution of imputed EPHX1 phenotypes was significantly different between the COPD and the control group (P = 0.041), OR for the slow activity phenotype was 1.639 (95% CI = 1.08- 2.49; P = 0.021) in our study. In logistic regression analysis adjusted for both variants, also age and pack-year, the rare allele of His447His of PPARG showed significant association with COPD outcome (OR = 1.853, 95% CI = 1.09-3.14, P = 0.0218). In haplotype analysis the GC haplotype of PPARG (OR = 0.512, 95% CI = 0.27-0.96, P = 0.035) conferred reduced risk for COPD.
Conclusions
The "slow" activity-associated genotypes of EPHX1 were associated with increased risk of COPD. The minor His447His allele of PPARG significantly increased; and the haplotype containing the minor Pro12Ala and the major His447His polymorphisms of PPARG decreased the risk of COPD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-152
PMCID: PMC2988760  PMID: 21044285
24.  Combined Analysis of EPHX1, GSTP1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 Gene Polymorphisms in Relation to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Risk and Lung Function Impairment 
Disease markers  2011;30(5):253-263.
Smoking is considered as the major causal factor of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Nevertheless, a minority of chronic heavy cigarette smokers develops COPD. This suggests important contribution of other factors such as genetic predisposing. Our objective was to investigate combined role of EPHX1, GSTP1, M1 and T1 gene polymorphisms in COPD risk, its phenotypes and lung function impairment. Prevalence of EPHX1, GSTP1, M1 and T1 gene polymorphisms were assessed in 234 COPD patients and 182 healthy controls from Tunisia. Genotypes of EPHX1 (Tyr113His; His139Arg) and GSTP1 (Ile105Val; Ala114Val) polymorphisms were performed by PCR-RFLP, while the deletion in GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes was determined using multiplex PCR. Analysis of combinations showed a significant association of 113His/His EPHX1/null-GSTM1 (OR = 4.07) and null-GSTM1/105Val/Val GSTP1 (OR = 3.56) genotypes with increased risk of COPD (respectively P=0.0094 and P=0.0153). The null-GSTM1/ null-GSTT1, 105Val/Val GSTP1/null GSTT1, 113His/His EPHX1/null-GSTM1 and null-GSTM1/105Val/Val GSTP1 genotypes were related to emphysema (respectively P = 0.01; P = 0.009; P = 0.008 and P = 0.001). Combination of 113His/His EPHX1/null-GSTM1 genotypes showed a significant association with the decrease of ΔFEV1 in patients (P = 0.028).
In conclusion, our results suggest combined EPHX1, GSTP1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 genetic polymorphisms may play a significant role in the development of COPD, emphysema and decline of the lung function.
doi:10.3233/DMA-2011-0782
PMCID: PMC3825482  PMID: 21734345
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; microsomal epoxide hydrolase; glutathione S-transferase; emphysema; genetic polymorphism
25.  Association of IREB2 and CHRNA3 polymorphisms with airflow obstruction in severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency 
Respiratory Research  2012;13(1):16.
Background
The development of COPD in subjects with alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is likely to be influenced by modifier genes. Genome-wide association studies and integrative genomics approaches in COPD have demonstrated significant associations with SNPs in the chromosome 15q region that includes CHRNA3 (cholinergic nicotine receptor alpha3) and IREB2 (iron regulatory binding protein 2).
We investigated whether SNPs in the chromosome 15q region would be modifiers for lung function and COPD in AAT deficiency.
Methods
The current analysis included 378 PIZZ subjects in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study and a replication cohort of 458 subjects from the UK AAT Deficiency National Registry. Nine SNPs in LOC123688, CHRNA3 and IREB2 were selected for genotyping. FEV1 percent of predicted and FEV1/FVC ratio were analyzed as quantitative phenotypes. Family-based association analysis was performed in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study. In the replication set, general linear models were used for quantitative phenotypes and logistic regression models were used for the presence/absence of emphysema or COPD.
Results
Three SNPs (rs2568494 in IREB2, rs8034191 in LOC123688, and rs1051730 in CHRNA3) were associated with pre-bronchodilator FEV1 percent of predicted in the AAT Genetic Modifiers Study. Two SNPs (rs2568494 and rs1051730) were associated with the post-bronchodilator FEV1 percent of predicted and pre-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio; SNP-by-gender interactions were observed. In the UK National Registry dataset, rs2568494 was significantly associated with emphysema in the male subgroup; significant SNP-by-smoking interactions were observed.
Conclusions
IREB2 and CHRNA3 are potential genetic modifiers of COPD phenotypes in individuals with severe AAT deficiency and may be sex-specific in their impact.
doi:10.1186/1465-9921-13-16
PMCID: PMC3306733  PMID: 22356581
CHRNA3; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Genetic association analysis; Genetic modifiers; IREB2

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