Effect of interleukin-18 gene polymorphisms on sensitization to wheat flour in bakery workers
Kim, SH; Hur, GY; Jin, HJ; Choi, H; Park, HS
Journal of Korean medical science, 27(4):382-387, 2012
Journal of Korean medical science
Lower respiratory symptoms in bakery workers may be induced by wheat flour and endotoxins. We hypothesized that endotoxins from wheat flour may stimulate innate immunity and that interleukin-18 (IL-18) gene polymorphisms may affect their regulatory role in innate immune responses to endotoxins. To investigate the genetic contribution of IL-18 to sensitization to wheat flour, we performed a genetic association study of IL-18 in Korean bakery workers. A total of 373 bakery workers undertook a questionnaire regarding work-related symptoms. Skin prick tests with common and occupational allergens were performed and specific antibodies to wheat flour were measured by ELISA. Three polymorphisms of the IL-18 gene (-607A/C, -137G/C, 8674C/G) were genotyped, and the functional effects of the polymorphisms were analyzed using the luciferase reporter assay. Genotypes of -137G/C (GC or CC) and haplotype ht3 [ACC] showed a significant association with the rate of sensitization to wheat flour. Luciferase activity assay indicated ht3 [AC] as a low transcript haplotype. In conclusion, the regulatory role of IL-18 in lipopolysaccharide-induced responses in bakery workers may be affected by this polymorphism, thus contributing to the development of sensitization to wheat flour and work-related respiratory symptoms.
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