Background The genetic background of atopic eczema might be heterogeneous and there is a possibility that immunoglobulin (Ig)E responsiveness in patients with atopic eczema is controlled separately from the development of atopic eczema. Although both interleukin (IL)-4 and the IL-4 receptor α chain have an important role for IgE production and are therefore possible candidate genes for atopy, it has not been clarified whether these genes play any roles in atopic eczema patients who have normal IgE productivity.
Objective We aimed to assess whether the polymorphisms of the IL-4 gene and the IL-4 receptor α chain gene play any roles in atopic eczema patients, particularly in patients who have normal IgE productivity.
Method We determined the genotype with regard to polymorphisms in the genes for IL-4 and the IL-4 receptor α chain (− 589C/T of IL-4; Ile50Val, Ala375Glu and Arg551Gln of IL-4 receptor α chain) in patients with atopic eczema using the fluorogenic 5′ nuclease assay.
Results IL-4 and the IL-4 receptor α chain genotypes were not significantly associated with either total patients with atopic eczema or atopic eczema patients who had normal IgE productivity. The distribution of genotypes of IL-4–589C/T differed by the serum IgE levels in patients with atopic eczema.
Conclusion These results suggest that the polymorphisms in the IL-4 gene and the IL-4 receptor α chain gene play no role in the development of atopic eczema in patients who have normal IgE productivity.