The maternal 17q21 genotype has an important influence on the protective effects of prenatal vitamin D3 supplementation against asthma/recurrent wheeze in offspring, according to study results published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Prenatal vitamin D3 supplementation has been linked to a reduced risk of early life asthma/recurrent wheeze. This effect appears to be related to variations in the 17q21 functional SNP rs1293623, which regulates the expression of ORMDL3, and for which the high-risk CC-genotype is associated with early-onset asthma. However, this does not fully explain the differential effects of supplementation, so researchers investigated the influence of the maternal rs12936231 genotype variation on the protective effect of prenatal vitamin D3 supplementation against offspring asthma/recurrent wheeze by examining the randomized controlled trials, Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial (VDAART; Identifier: NCT00920621; n=613) and Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood 2010 (COPSAC2010; n=563).

The offspring of mothers with low-risk GG-genotype or GC-genotype who received high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation had a significantly reduced risk of asthma/recurrent wheeze when compared with the placebo group (P <.001 for VDAART and P =.021 for COPSAC2010), whereas no difference was observed among the offspring of mothers with a high-risk CC-genotype (P =.853 for VDAART and P =.785 for COPSAC2010).

Continue Reading

“This study demonstrates that maternal 17q21 genotype influences the protective effect of prenatal vitamin D3 supplementation against early life asthma/recurrent wheeze, and this effect appears to be independent of the child’s 17q21 genotype,” the study authors wrote. “These findings imply that maternal genotype may play an important role in prenatal precision prevention strategies aimed at influencing offspring health.”


Knihtilä HM, Kelly RS, Brustad N, et al. Maternal 17q21 genotype influences prenatal vitamin D effects on offspring asthma/recurrent wheeze. Eur Respir J. Published online March 2, 2021. doi:10.1183/1399003.02012-2020