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Non-invasive markers of airway inflammation and remodeling in childhood asthma

Authors

  • Rosalia Gagliardo,

    1. Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Unit of Immunopathology and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System, Italian National Research Council, Palermo, Italy
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  • Stefania La Grutta,

    1. Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Unit of Immunopathology and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System, Italian National Research Council, Palermo, Italy
    2. Allergy Unit of ARNAS and Environmental Health Unit, ARPA, Palermo, Italy
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  • Pascal Chanez,

    1. Département des Maladies Respiratoires, AP-HM, Université de la Méditerranée, 270 boulevard de Sainte-Marguerite, F-13009 Marseille, France
    2. Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U-454, Clinique des Maladies Respiratoires CHU, Montpellier, France
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  • Mirella Profita,

    1. Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Unit of Immunopathology and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System, Italian National Research Council, Palermo, Italy
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  • Alessandra Paternò,

    1. DIMPEFINU, Universita' degli Studi di Palermo, Italy
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  • Fabio Cibella,

    1. Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Unit of Immunopathology and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System, Italian National Research Council, Palermo, Italy
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  • Jean Bousquet,

    1. Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U-454, Clinique des Maladies Respiratoires CHU, Montpellier, France
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  • Giovanni Viegi,

    1. Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Unit of Immunopathology and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System, Italian National Research Council, Palermo, Italy
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  • Mark Gjomarkaj

    1. Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Unit of Immunopathology and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System, Italian National Research Council, Palermo, Italy
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Rosalia Gagliardo, PhD, Istituto di Biomedicina e Immunologia Molecolare, Sezione di Immunopatologia e Farmacologia Clinica e Sperimentale dell'Apparato Respiratorio, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Ugo La Malfa, 153 – 90146 Palermo, Italy
Tel.: +39 091 6809150
Fax: +39 091 6809122
E-mail: gagliardo@ibim.cnr.it

Abstract

To evaluate the relationship between pro-inflammatory and pro-remodeling mediators and severity and control of asthma in children, the levels of IL-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1 in induced sputum supernatants, the number of sputum eosinophils, as well as FeNO, were investigated in 35 asthmatic children, 12 with intermittent (IA) and 23 with moderate asthma (MA), and 9 controls (C). The patients with asthma were followed for 1 yr and sputum was obtained twice during the follow-up. Biomarker levels were correlated with the number of exacerbations. We found that IL-8, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and the numbers of eosinophils in induced sputum, as well as FeNO, were increased in children with IA and MA in comparison to C. The ongoing inflammation was confirmed by increased nuclear p65 NF-κB subunit localization in sputum cells. In MA, FeNO measurements, sputum eosinophils and IL-8 levels, positively correlated with the occurrence of disease exacerbations during a 1-yr follow-up. According to FeNO, sputum eosinophils and IL-8 sputum concentrations, and the number of exacerbations, two distinct phenotypes of MA were identified. This study shows that the presence of bronchial inflammation is detectable in the airways of some IA, as well as in the airways of MA, despite the regular ICS treatment. This study also proposes the need to perform large prospective studies to confirm the importance of measuring specific biomarkers in induced sputum, concomitantly to FeNO analyses, to assess sub-clinical airway inflammation and disease control in children with asthma.

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