IL-4 receptor a polymorphisms may be a susceptible factor for work-related respiratory symptoms in bakery workers

Gyu Young Hur, Young Min Ye, Dong Hee Koh, Seung Hyun Kim, Hae Sim Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The IL-4 and IL-4 receptor α (IL-4Rα) genes are the key candidate genes for atopy and asthma susceptibility. Exposure to wheat flour can cause IgE sensitization and respiratory symptoms in bakery workers. Therefore, we hypothesized that IL-4 and IL-4Rα single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may be involved in the pathogenic mechanism of baker's asthma. Methods: Clinical and genetic data from 373 bakery workers were analyzed. A survey questionnaire, spirometry, and skin prick tests with wheat flour were performed. Serum-specific IgE, IgG1, and IgG4 to wheat flour were determined using ELISA. Five candidate IL-4 (-729 T>G, 589 T>C, and 33 T>C) and IL-4Rα (Ile75Val A>G and Gln576Arg A>G) SNPs were genotyped and analyzed. Results: Workers with the G allele of IL-4Rα Ile75Val A>G had a significantly higher prevalence of work-related lower respiratory symptoms than those with the AA genotype (P=0.004, 16.0% vs. 2.9%). In the skin prick test, workers with the AA genotype of IL-4Rα Gln576Arg A>G had a significantly higher positive rate to wheat flour (P=0.015, 8.2% vs. 1.1%) than those with AG/GG genotype. No significant associations were found in the three genetic polymorphisms of IL-4. For the predicted probabilities, workers with the AA genotype of Gln576Arg A> G had a higher prevalence of IgG1 and IgG4 in response to wheat flour, according to increased exposure intensity (P=0.001 for IgG1 and P=0.003 for IgG4). Conclusions: These findings suggest that the IL-4Rα Ile75Val and Gln576Arg polymorphisms may be associated with work-related respiratory symptom development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Baker's asthma
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • IL-4
  • IL-4 Receptor α
  • Work-related symptom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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