Interleukin (IL)-13 plays an important role in the induction of immunoglobulin E (IgE) and in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD). We investigated the allele and genotype frequencies of three IL-13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (A704C and C1103T in the promoter region and G4257A in exon 4) in Japanese patients with AD. For A704C and C1103T SNPs, there were no significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies between AD patients and controls. For G4257A SNP, A allele was significantly increased in AD patients (39.5%) compared with controls (29.4%) (P = 0.016). The same proportion of each genotype and allele was observed in the patient subgroup with and without asthma. Serum IgE levels and peripheral eosinophil counts were not significantly different among genotypes in G4257A SNP. There was also no significant difference in allele or genotype frequencies between AD patients with mild disease and those with severe disease, between those with family history of AD and those without it, or between those with family history of atopic disorders and those without it. This result suggests that 4257A allele is associated with susceptibility to AD and that it may function in the pathogenesis of AD itself, presumably by other mechanisms than inducing IgE production.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.