Genetic variability in CRTH2 polymorphism increases eotaxin-2 levels in patients with aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease

N S Palikhe, S-H Kim, B-Y Cho, Y-M Ye, G-S Choi, H-S Park
Allergy 2010, 65 (3): 338-46

INTRODUCTION: CRTH2 is expressed on the surface of eosinophils and has been shown to mediate PGD2-induced eosinophil migration in vitro. Eosinophilic infiltration in the upper and lower airways is the key feature of asthma. Considering the fact that eosinophil infiltration is prominent in the upper and lower airways of aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) compared to aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA) patients, we hypothesized that activation of eosinophils via dysregulation of the CRTH2 gene may play an important role and be an important marker for AERD.

METHODS: The three study groups - 107 with AERD, 115 with ATA and 133 normal healthy controls (NC) - were recruited from Ajou University Hospital, South Korea. Two polymorphisms of the CRTH2 gene at -466T>C and -129C>A were genotyped using primer extension methods.

RESULTS: AERD patients had significantly higher serum eotaxin-2 levels than did those with ATA (P = 0.034). A significant difference in the genotype frequencies of CRTH2 -466T>C was detected between AERD and ATA patients (P < 0.05). The serum eotaxin-2 level was significantly higher in AERD patients carrying the TT genotype of CRTH2 -466T>C than those with the CT and CC (P < 0.05). In vitro functional study demonstrated that the -466T allele had lower luciferase activity (P < 0.001) and lower mRNA expression with higher production of eotaxin-2 (P = 0.003) in human lung epithelial cells. EMSA showed that CRTH2 -466T produced a specific band with a higher affinity than CRTH2 -466C had.

CONCLUSION: The CRTH2 -466T>C polymorphism increases serum and cellular eotaxin-2 production through lowered CRTH2 expression, leading to eosinophilic infiltration in AERD patients.

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