Lipoxin A4 levels in asthma: relation with disease severity and aspirin sensitivity

G E Celik, F O Erkekol, Z Misirligil, M Melli
Clinical and Experimental Allergy 2007, 37 (10): 1494-501

BACKGROUND: Lipoxin (LX) A4, an endogenous anti-inflammatory eicosanoid, has been found to be low in patients with severe asthma. However, few studies also suggested more diminished LX A4 levels in aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) when compared with aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA). It is, therefore, currently not clear whether the asthma severity or the presence of AERD has a primary role in the disturbed LX metabolism.

OBJECTIVE: To detect LX A4 and 15-epi-LX A4 levels in asthma patients with and without AERD of comparable severity.

METHODS: The study groups consisted of 22 subjects with AERD, 22 subjects with ATA and 10 volunteers without asthma and aspirin sensitivity. Whole-blood samples were stimulated with calcium ionophore, A23187 (5 x 10(-5) m) and A23187 (5 x 10(-5) m)+aspirin (10(-4) m). LX A4 and 15-epi-LX A4 levels were analysed by the enzyme immune assay method.

RESULTS: Severe asthma patients in both AERD [0.5 (0.8)] ng/mL and ATA [0.5 (0.45) ng/mL] groups showed diminished generation for LX A4 to stimulation with A23187 in comparison with other severity degrees in their groups (P=0.02 and 0.046, respectively). LX A4 generation in both severe groups was comparable with each other (P>0.05). Although severe cases with AERD showed a diminished capacity to generate 15-epi-LX A4, this did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: This study indicated that diminished LX A4 generation was unique to severe asthma phenotype regardless of comorbid aspirin sensitivity. Clinical Implications Lower LX A4 levels in severe asthma would suggest a possibility for LX analogues as future treatment options in these patients.

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