BACKGROUND: Little is known about the asthma candidate gene neuropeptide S receptor 1 (NPSR1) in relation to environmental exposures, but recent evidences suggest its role as an effect modifier. OBJECTIVES: To explore the interaction between NPSR1 polymorphisms and environmental exposures related to farming lifestyle and to study the in vitro effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation on NPSR1 expression levels. METHODS: We studied 3113 children from PARSIFAL, a European cross-sectional study on environmental/lifestyle factors and childhood allergy, partly focused on children brought up on a farm. Information on exposures and outcomes was primarily obtained from parental questionnaires. Seven tagging polymorphisms were analysed in a conserved haplotype block of NPSR1. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate a multiplicative model of interaction. NPSR1 protein and messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in monocytes were measured after LPS stimulation by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: A strong interaction was seen between current regular contact to farm animals and several NPSR1 polymorphisms, particularly rs323922 and rs324377 (
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