Asthma is a complex heritable inflammatory disorder of the airways associated with clinical signs of atopy and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Recent studies localized a major gene for asthma to chromosome 5q31-q33 in humans. Thus, this segment of the genome represents a candidate region for genes that determine susceptibility to bronchial hyperresponsiveness and atopy in animal models. Homologs of candidate genes on human chromosome 5q31- q33 are found in four regions in the mouse genome, two on chromosome 18, and one each on chromosomes 11 and 13. We assessed bronchial responsiveness as a quantitative trait in mice and found it linked to chromosome 13. Interleukin 9 (IL-9) is located in the linked region and was analyzed as a gene candidate. The expression of IL-9 was markedly reduced in bronchial hyporesponsive mice, and the level of expression was determined by sequences within the qualitative trait locus (QTL). These data suggest a role for IL-9 in the complex pathogenesis of bronchial hyperresponsiveness as a risk factor for asthma.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Nov 25 1997
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