IL13 variants are associated with total serum IgE and early sensitization to food allergens in children with atopic dermatitis.Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2009 Sep; 20(6):551-5.PA
Increased total and specific serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels are common characteristics of atopic diseases and their basal production is proposed to be under strong genetic control. Interleukin 13 (IL13) variants have been consistently associated with total serum IgE levels in white populations with a strongest association in non-atopics. The aim of this study was to test the IL13 p.R130Q and c.1-1111C>T variants in children with atopic dermatitis (AD) for associations with total serum IgE and early sensitization to common food and inhalant allergens and with asthma. We included 453 children with AD [participants of the Early Treatment of the Atopic Child (ETAC) study] that were followed from the age of 12-24 months for 3 yr. Total and specific IgE were determined at four time points. We genotyped the IL13 p.R130Q and c.1-1111C>T variants by melting curve analysis. In children up to 4 yr of age, the 130Q allele was related to slightly higher total IgE levels compared to heterozygotes and 130R homozygotes. More importantly, both IL13 variants were significantly associated with sensitization to food allergens, with most significant results for sensitization to egg (p = 0.0001). Although early sensitization to hen's egg represents a strong risk factor for subsequent sensitization to inhalant allergens and asthma, the investigated IL13 variants were not associated with these phenotypes at the age of 48-60 months. In summary IL13 variants contribute to elevated levels of total serum IgE in young atopic children and are strongly associated with sensitization to food allergens, particularly to hen's egg. These findings suggest that IL13 variants play a major role not only in non-cognate but also in allergen specific IgE synthesis.