Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in the FADS Gene Cluster but not the ELOVL2 Gene are Associated with Serum Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Composition and Development of Allergy (in a Swedish Birth Cohort).Nutrients 2015; 7(12):10100-15N
Exposure to polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) influences immune function and may affect the risk of allergy development. Long chain PUFAs are produced from dietary precursors catalyzed by desaturases and elongases encoded by FADS and ELOVL genes. In 211 subjects, we investigated whether polymorphisms in the FADS gene cluster and the ELOVL2 gene were associated with allergy or PUFA composition in serum phospholipids in a Swedish birth-cohort sampled at birth and at 13 years of age; allergy was diagnosed at 13 years of age. Minor allele carriers of rs102275 and rs174448 (FADS gene cluster) had decreased proportions of 20:4 n-6 in cord and adolescent serum and increased proportions of 20:3 n-6 in cord serum as well as a nominally reduced risk of developing atopic eczema, but not respiratory allergy, at 13 years of age. Minor allele carriers of rs17606561 in the ELOVL2 gene had nominally decreased proportions of 20:4 n-6 in cord serum but ELOVL polymorphisms (rs2236212 and rs17606561) were not associated with allergy development. Thus, reduced capacity to desaturase n-6 PUFAs due to FADS polymorphisms was nominally associated with reduced risk for eczema development, which could indicate a pathogenic role for long-chain PUFAs in allergy development.