Exhaled nitric oxide (FENO ) is raised in atopy. The mechanism for this is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the number of AAT repeats in intron 20 of the NOS1 gene, recently associated with variations in FENO in adults with asthma and cystic fibrosis, was associated with the raised FENO in healthy atopic children. Eighty-seven healthy children (44 girls, 42 atopic, age range 6-18 years) underwent measurements of FENO , spirometry, airway responsiveness and skin prick testing. Genotyping was carried out to determine the number of AAT repeats. There was no association between the number of AAT repeats and FENO in either the whole sample of healthy children (n = 87) or in the subsample of healthy atopics (n = 42). However, a greater number of atopic children had two high repeat alleles compared with non-atopic children (33.3% vs. 13.6%, respectively, p = 0.03). This suggests that variations in the NOS1 gene may contribute to atopy without this relationship being reflected by FENO .
- exhaled nitric oxide
- nitric oxide synthase