Open Access

Low expression and hypermethylation of FOXP3 in regulatory T cells are associated with asthma in children

  • Authors:
    • Xiaohua Zhu
    • Qiang Chen
    • Zhiqiang Liu
    • Daya Luo
    • Lan Li
    • Ying Zhong
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: January 10, 2020     https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8443
  • Pages: 2045-2052
  • Copyright: © Zhu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to determine the expression and methylation levels of forkhead transcription factor P3 (FOXP3) in peripheral blood CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) harvested from children with asthma, and to explore the pathogenesis of asthma. The percentages of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs in CD4+ T lymphocytes from 15 children with asthma and 15 healthy controls were measured by flow cytometry, and FOXP3 mRNA expression in the CD4+CD25+ Tregs was measured by reverse transcriptase‑quantitative PCR. In addition, the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was measured to determine lung function. The methylation statuses of 16 CpG sites in two regions of the FOXP3 gene's exon and intron were analysed with bisulfite‑specific PCR and pyrophosphate sequencing. The differences in methylation levels between the asthma and control groups were compared. The percentage of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs in CD4+ T lymphocytes and FOXP3 mRNA expression were significantly lower in children with asthma than in control children (P<0.05). The FOXP3 mRNA levels in children with asthma were positively correlated with FEV1 (P<0.001; r=0.895). The methylation levels in 12 of the 16 studied CpG loci of the FOXP3 gene, and of the 6th CpG locus in the exon regions, were significantly higher in the asthma group compared with the control group (P<0.05). In summary, low expression and hypermethylation of the FOXP3 gene in the peripheral blood were associated with the pathogenesis of asthma in children. Thus, the FOXP3 mRNA expression level can be used to predict the severity of asthma in children.

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March 2020
Volume 19 Issue 3

Print ISSN: 1792-0981
Online ISSN:1792-1015

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APA
Zhu, X., Chen, Q., Liu, Z., Luo, D., Li, L., & Zhong, Y. (2020). Low expression and hypermethylation of FOXP3 in regulatory T cells are associated with asthma in children. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 19, 2045-2052. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8443
MLA
Zhu, X., Chen, Q., Liu, Z., Luo, D., Li, L., Zhong, Y."Low expression and hypermethylation of FOXP3 in regulatory T cells are associated with asthma in children". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 19.3 (2020): 2045-2052.
Chicago
Zhu, X., Chen, Q., Liu, Z., Luo, D., Li, L., Zhong, Y."Low expression and hypermethylation of FOXP3 in regulatory T cells are associated with asthma in children". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 19, no. 3 (2020): 2045-2052. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8443