The present candidate gene analysis is aimed at identifying the genetic polymorphisms associated with FeNO in adult subjects with asthma. We evaluated 227 subjects with asthma (age: 20-66 years; female: 49.3%; current smoking: 23.3%; past smoking: 31.7%; atopy: 76.6%), who had been identified from the general population in Verona (Italy) in the clinical stage (2008-2010) of a multi-centre (multi)case-control study (GEIRD). All subjects in our sample had not used controller drugs in the previous 3 months. A panel of 210 tag-SNPs, which are representative of 50 candidate genes with a previous indication of a possible association with asthma/COPD/rhinitis, was genotyped by a custom GoldenGate Genotyping Assay. The association with log-transformed FeNO (at an expiratory flow rate of 50 mL/s) was tested separately for each SNP (classified according to the additive, dominant or recessive genetic model) by a linear regression model with robust standard errors, adjusting for sex and smoking habits. The Simes multiple-test procedure was used for controlling the false discovery rate (FDR). SNP rs1610696 in Human Leukocyte Antigen-G (HLA-G) and SNP rs174579 in Fatty Acid Desaturase 2 (FADS2) gene regions were significantly associated with FeNO. These preliminary results suggest that HLA-G and FADS2, or genes in linkage disequilibrium, play a role in inflammation among adult asthmatics.
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