Genetic variations in nitric oxide synthase and arginase influence exhaled nitric oxide levels in children.
ABSTRACT: Exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a biomarker of airway inflammation. In the nitric oxide (NO) synthesis pathway, nitric oxide synthases (encoded by NOS1, NOS2A, and NOS3) and arginases (encoded by ARG1 and ARG2) compete for L-arginine. Although FeNO levels are higher in children with asthma/allergy, influence of these conditions on the relationships between variations in these genes and FeNO remains unknown. The aims of the study were to evaluate the role of genetic variations in nitric oxide synthases and arginases on FeNO in children and to assess the influence of asthma and respiratory allergy on these genetic associations.Among children (6-11 years) who participated in the southern California Children's Health Study, variations in these five genetic loci were characterized by tagSNPs. FeNO was measured in two consecutive years (N = 2298 and 2515 in Years 1 and 2, respectively). Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate the associations between these genetic variants and FeNO.Sequence variations in the NOS2A and ARG2 loci were globally associated with FeNO (P = 0.0002 and 0.01, respectively). The ARG2 association was tagged by intronic variant rs3742879 with stronger association with FeNO in asthmatic children (P-interaction = 0.01). The association of a NOS2A promoter haplotype with FeNO varied significantly by rs3742879 genotypes and by asthma.Variants in the NO synthesis pathway genes jointly contribute to differences in FeNO concentrations. Some of these genetic influences were stronger in children with asthma. Further studies are required to confirm our findings.
Project description:Genetic variation in arginase (ARG) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) has been associated with exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) levels in children. Little is known about whether epigenetic variation in these genes modulates FeNO.To evaluate whether DNA methylation in ARG and NOS genes is associated with FeNO.A subset of 940 participants in the Children's Health Study were selected for this study. Children were eligible if they had FeNO measurements and buccal cells collected on the same day. CpG loci located in the promoter regions of NOS1, NOS2A, NOS3, ARG1, and ARG2 genes were analyzed. Multiple loci in each gene were evaluated individually and averaged together. DNA methylation was measured using a bisulfite-polymerase chain reaction pyrosequencing assay. Linear regression models were used to investigate the association between DNA methylation and FeNO and whether associations differed by asthma status.DNA methylation in ARG2 was significantly associated with FeNO. A 1% increase in average DNA methylation of ARG2 was associated with a 2.3% decrease in FeNO (95% confidence interval, -4 to -0.6). This association was significantly larger in children with asthma (%diff = -8.7%) than in children with no asthma (%diff = -1.6%; p(int) = 0.01). Differences in FeNO by asthma status were also observed for ARG1 (%diff(asthma) = -4.4%; %diff(non-asthma) = 0.3%; p(int) = 0.02). DNA methylation in NOS genes was not associated with FeNO.DNA methylation in ARG1 and ARG2 is associated with FeNO in children with asthma and suggests a possible role for epigenetic regulation of nitric oxide production.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Arginine metabolism via inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and arginase 2 (ARG2) is higher in asthmatics than in healthy individuals. We hypothesized that a sub-phenotype of asthma might be defined by the magnitude of arginine metabolism categorized on the basis of high and low fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO).<h4>Methods</h4>To test this hypothesis, asthmatics (n = 52) were compared to healthy controls (n = 51) for levels of FENO, serum arginase activity, and airway epithelial expression of iNOS and ARG2 proteins, in relation to clinical parameters of asthma inflammation and airway reactivity. In parallel, bronchial epithelial cells were evaluated for metabolic effects of iNOS and ARG2 expression in vitro.<h4>Results</h4>Asthmatics with high FENO (? 35 ppb; 44% of asthmatics) had higher expression of iNOS (P = 0.04) and ARG2 (P = 0.05) in the airway, indicating FENO is a marker of the high arginine metabolic endotype. High FENO asthmatics had the lowest FEV1% (P < 0.001), FEV1/FVC (P = 0.0002) and PC20 (P < 0.001) as compared to low FENO asthmatics or healthy controls. Low FENO asthmatics had near normal iNOS and ARG2 expression (both P > 0.05), and significantly higher PC20 (P < 0.001) as compared to high FENO asthmatics. In vitro studies to evaluate metabolic effects showed that iNOS overexpression and iNOS+ARG2 co-expression in a human bronchial epithelial cell line led to greater reliance on glycolysis with higher rate of pyruvate going to lactate.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The high FENO phenotype represents a large portion of the asthma population, and is typified by greater arginine metabolism and more severe and reactive asthma.
Project description:While the fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) has proven useful in asthma research, its exact role in clinical care remains unclear, in part due to unexplained inter-subject heterogeneity. In this study, we assessed the hypothesis that the effects of determinants of the fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) vary with differing levels of FeNO. In a population-based cohort of 1542 school children aged 12-15 from the Southern California Children's Health Study, we used quantile regression to investigate if the relationships of asthma, socio-demographic and clinical covariates with FeNO vary across its distribution. Differences in FeNO between children with and without asthma increased steeply as FeNO increased (Estimated asthma effects (in ppb) at selected 20th, 50th and 80th percentiles of FeNO are 2.4, 6.3 and 22.2, respectively) but the difference was steeper with increasing FeNO in boys and in children with active rhinitis (p-values<0.01). Active rhinitis also showed significantly larger effects on FeNO at higher concentrations of FeNO (Estimated active rhinitis effects (in ppb) at selected 20th, 50th and 80th percentiles of FeNO are 2.1, 5.7 and 14.3, respectively). Boys and children of Asian descent had higher FeNO than girls and non-Hispanic whites; these differences were significantly larger in those with higher FeNO (p-values<0.01). In summary, application of quantile regression techniques provides new insights into the determinants of FeNO showing substantially varying effects in those with high versus low concentrations.
Project description:The fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a biomarker of airway inflammation that has proved to be useful in investigations of genetic and epigenetic airway susceptibility to ambient air pollutants. For example, susceptibility to airway inflammation from exposure to particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter < =2.5 ?m (PM2.5) varies by haplotypes and promoter region methylation in inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS encoded by NOS2). We hypothesized that PM2.5 susceptibility associated with these epigenetic and genetic variants may be greater in children with high FeNO from inflamed airways. In this study, we investigated genetic and epigenetic susceptibility to airborne particulate matter by examining whether the joint effects of PM2.5, NOS2 haplotypes and iNOS promoter methylation significantly vary across the distribution of FeNO in school children.The study included 940 school children in the southern California Children's Health Study who provided concurrent buccal samples and FeNO measurements. We used quantile regression to examine susceptibility by estimating the quantile-specific joint effects of PM2.5, NOS2 haplotype and methylation on FeNO.We discovered striking differences in susceptibility to PM2.5 in school children. The joint effects of short-term PM2.5 exposure, NOS2 haplotypes and methylation across the FeNO distribution were significantly larger in the upper tail of the FeNO distribution, with little association in its lower tail, especially among children with asthma and Hispanic white children.School-aged children with higher FeNO have greater genetic and epigenetic susceptibility to PM2.5, highlighting the importance of investigating effects across the entire distribution of FeNO.
Project description:The fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (Feno) value is a biomarker of eosinophilic airway inflammation and is associated with childhood asthma. Identification of common genetic variants associated with childhood Feno values might help to define biological mechanisms related to specific asthma phenotypes.We sought to identify the genetic variants associated with childhood Feno values and their relation with asthma.Feno values were measured in children age 5 to 15 years. In 14 genome-wide association studies (N = 8,858), we examined the associations of approximately 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with Feno values. Subsequently, we assessed whether significant SNPs were expression quantitative trait loci in genome-wide expression data sets of lymphoblastoid cell lines (n = 1,830) and were related to asthma in a previously published genome-wide association data set (cases, n = 10,365; control subjects: n = 16,110).We identified 3 SNPs associated with Feno values: rs3751972 in LYR motif containing 9 (LYRM9; P = 1.97 × 10(-10)) and rs944722 in inducible nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2; P = 1.28 × 10(-9)), both of which are located at 17q11.2-q12, and rs8069176 near gasdermin B (GSDMB; P = 1.88 × 10(-8)) at 17q12-q21. We found a cis expression quantitative trait locus for the transcript soluble galactoside-binding lectin 9 (LGALS9) that is in linkage disequilibrium with rs944722. rs8069176 was associated with GSDMB and ORM1-like 3 (ORMDL3) expression. rs8069176 at 17q12-q21, but not rs3751972 and rs944722 at 17q11.2-q12, were associated with physician-diagnosed asthma.This study identified 3 variants associated with Feno values, explaining 0.95% of the variance. Identification of functional SNPs and haplotypes in these regions might provide novel insight into the regulation of Feno values. This study highlights that both shared and distinct genetic factors affect Feno values and childhood asthma.
Project description:Determinants of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) need to be understood better to maximize the value of FeNO measurement in clinical practice and research. Our aim was to identify significant predictors of FeNO in an initial cross-sectional survey of southern California schoolchildren, part of a larger longitudinal study of asthma incidence.During one school year, we measured FeNO at 100 ml/sec flow, using a validated offline technique, in 2568 children of age 7-10 yr. We estimated online (50 ml/sec flow) FeNO using a prediction equation from a separate smaller study with adjustment for offline measurement artifacts, and analyzed its relationship to clinical and demographic characteristics.FeNO was lognormally distributed with geometric means ranging from 11 ppb in children without atopy or asthma to 16 ppb in children with allergic asthma. Although effects of atopy and asthma were highly significant, ranges of FeNO for children with and without those conditions overlapped substantially. FeNO was significantly higher in subjects aged > 9, compared to younger subjects. Asian-American boys showed significantly higher FeNO than children of all other sex/ethnic groups; Hispanics and African-Americans of both sexes averaged slightly higher than non-Hispanic whites. Increasing height-for-age had no significant effect, but increasing weight-for-height was associated with decreasing FeNO.FeNO measured offline is a useful biomarker for airway inflammation in large population-based studies. Further investigation of age, ethnicity, body-size, and genetic influences is needed, since they may contribute to substantial variation in FeNO.
Project description:Asthma-like symptoms like wheezing and dyspnea affect 1 in every 3 preschool children. An easily available biomarker that predicts later asthma or unfavorable lung growth in these children may be helpful in targeting the right child with the right drugs and avoiding exposure to potentially harmful drugs in others. The fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) has been suggested as a marker of eosinophilic inflammation. FeNO can be measured in a standardized way from the age of 4 but several methods have been developed to measure FeNO also in younger children. Several studies have assessed the predictive value of FeNO in preschool wheezing children for asthma later in life. These studies have shown that FeNO may be helpful in defining different preschool wheezing phenotypes, and in assessing the risk of later asthma or impaired lung growth. However, data are conflicting on the added value over clinical parameters. In two studies in school children, high FeNO was predictive for asthma development during follow up and also predicted lower lung function growth. In school children with respiratory symptoms suggestive of asthma, particularly in atopic children, FeNO has diagnostic value for an asthma diagnosis, mostly for ruling in asthma. There are not enough data to assess if FeNO has a predictive value for lung development in school children.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Arginases (encoded by ARG1 and ARG2 genes) might play an important role in asthma pathogenesis through effects on nitrosative stress. Arginase expression is upregulated in asthma and varies with T(H)2 cytokine levels and oxidative stress.<h4>Objective</h4>We aimed to examine whether variants in these genes are associated with asthma and whether atopy and exposures to smoking and air pollution influence the associations.<h4>Methods</h4>Among non-Hispanic and Hispanic white participants of the Children's Health Study (n = 2946), we characterized variation in each locus (including promoter region) with 6 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms for ARG1 and 10 for ARG2. Asthma was defined by parental report of physician-diagnosed asthma at study entry.<h4>Results</h4>Both ARG1 and ARG2 genetic loci were significantly associated with asthma (global locus level P = .02 and .04, respectively). Compared with the most common haplotype within each locus, 1 ARG1 haplotype was associated with reduced risk (odds ratio [OR] per haplotype copy, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.36-0.84), and 1 ARG2 haplotype was associated with increased risk (OR per haplotype copy, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.04-1.76) of asthma. The effect of the ARG1 haplotype that was significantly associated with asthma varied by the child's history of atopy and ambient ozone (P(interaction) = .04 and .02, respectively). Among atopic children living in high-ozone communities, those carrying the ARG1 haplotype had reduced asthma risk (OR per haplotype copy, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.04-0.43; P(heterogeneity) across atopy/ozone categories = .008).<h4>Conclusions</h4>ARG1 and ARG2 loci are associated with childhood asthma. The association between ARG1 variation and asthma might depend on atopy and ambient ozone levels.
Project description:Fibrosis is the final common pathway in the pathophysiology of most forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD). As treatment of renal fibrosis still remains largely supportive, a refined understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of kidney fibrosis and the development of novel compounds are urgently needed. Whether arginases play a role in the development of fibrosis in CKD is unclear. We hypothesized that endothelial arginase-2 (Arg2) promotes the development of kidney fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Arg2 expression and arginase activity significantly increased following renal fibrosis. Pharmacologic blockade or genetic deficiency of Arg2 conferred kidney protection following renal fibrosis, as reflected by a reduction in kidney interstitial fibrosis and fibrotic markers. Selective deletion of Arg2 in endothelial cells (Tie2Cre/Arg2fl/fl) reduced the level of fibrosis after UUO. In contrast, selective deletion of Arg2 specifically in proximal tubular cells (Ggt1Cre/Arg2fl/fl) failed to reduce renal fibrosis after UUO. Furthermore, arginase inhibition restored kidney nitric oxide (NO) levels, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial function following UUO. These findings indicate that endothelial Arg2 plays a major role in renal fibrosis via its action on NO and mitochondrial function. Blocking Arg2 activity or expression could be a novel therapeutic approach for prevention of CKD.
Project description:The fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), a measure of airway inflammation, is a potential noninvasive tool to guide asthma management in children. It remains unclear, however, if FeNO adds any information beyond clinical assessment of asthma control. We evaluated the associations of FeNO level with short acting beta agonist use and compared it with other clinical asthma assessments. We examined a prospective cohort study of 225 tobacco-smoke-exposed children aged 6-12 years with doctor-diagnosed asthma, including measures of FeNO, reported days of short acting beta agonist use, and unscheduled asthma visits. FeNO was analyzed in relation to current and future (3 months later) short acting beta agonist use. Mean FeNO at baseline, 6, and 12 months was 15.5, 15.7, and 16.8 ppb. In multivariable analyses, higher FeNO level was associated with increased short acting beta agonist use but only among children who were not on inhaled corticosteroids. Among those not on an inhaled steroid, there was a 12% increase in current and 15% increase in future days of short acting beta agonist use for every 10 ppb increase in FeNO level. FeNO levels remained associated with current short acting beta agonist use even after adjusting for unscheduled asthma visits. FeNO levels remained associated with future short acting beta agonist use even after adjusting for current short acting beta agonist use or unscheduled asthma visits. We conclude that FeNO levels are associated with short acting beta agonist use but only among children who are not on an inhaled corticosteroid.