Get access

Oxidative stress and airway inflammation after allergen challenge evaluated by exhaled breath condensate analysis


Prof. Giovanni Rolla, Allergologia ed Immunologia Clinica, AO Mauriziano ‘Umberto I’, Largo Turati 62, 10128, Torino, Italy. E-mail:


Background Allergen exposure may increase airway oxidative stress, which causes lipid membrane peroxidation and an increased formation of 8-isoprostane.

Objective The aim of the study was to investigate oxidative stress induced by allergen challenge in mild asthmatics, by measuring 8-isoprostane in exhaled breath condensate (EBC), and to examine their relationship with mediators derived from arachidonic acid.

Methods 8-isoprostane, cysteinyl leukotrienes (cys-LTs) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentrations in EBC were measured at baseline and after allergen challenge in 12 patients with mild allergic asthma sensitized to cat allergen.

Results At 24 h after allergen challenge, compared with baseline values, EBC 8-isoprostane increased [48.64 pg/mL (44.14–53.61) vs. 21.56 pg/mL (19.92, 23.35), P<0.001], cys-LTs increased [27.37 pg/mL (24.09–31.10) vs. 13.28 pg/mL (11.32, 15.57), P<0.001] and PGE2 decreased [18.69 pg/mL (12.26, 28.50) vs. 39.95 pg/mL (34.37, 46.43), P<0.001]. The trend of increasing 8-isoprostane after allergen challenge was significantly correlated with the trend of increasing cys-LTs (R2=0.85, P<0.001) whereas the trend of decreasing PGE2 after allergen challenge was significantly correlated with the trend of increasing cys-LTs (R2=0.52, P=0.001).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance The increase in EBC 8-isoprostane observed after allergen challenge indicates that allergen exposure increases airway oxidative stress in allergic asthma. The strict correlation between cys-LTs and 8-isoprostane underlines the relationship between allergic inflammation and oxidative stress. A shift of arachidonic acid metabolism towards lipoxygenase pathway is induced by the allergen challenge. Airway oxidative stress occurs after allergen challenge even in patients with mild intermittent allergic asthma.

Cite this as: L. Brussino, I. Badiu S. Sciascia, M. Bugiani, E. Heffler G. Guida, A. Malinovschi, C. Bucca and G. Rolla, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2010 (40) 1642–1647.