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Eotaxin-1 in exhaled breath condensate of stable and unstable asthma patients

Ziemowit Zietkowski, Maria M Tomasiak-Lozowska, Roman Skiepko, Elzbieta Zietkowska, Anna Bodzenta-Lukaszyk
Respiratory Research 2010, 11: 110
20704746

BACKGROUND: Airway eosinophilia is considered a central event in the pathogenesis of asthma. Eotaxin plays a key role in selective eosinophil accumulation in the airways and, subsequently, their activation and degranulation. The study was undertaken to evaluate eotaxin-1 levels in the exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of asthmatics with different degrees of asthma severity and to establish the possible correlation of these measurements with other recognized parameters of airway inflammation.

METHODS: EBC was collected from 46 patients with allergic asthma (14 with steroid-naïve asthma, 16 with ICS-treated, stable asthma, 16 with ICS-treated unstable asthma) and 12 healthy volunteers. Concentrations of eotaxin-1 were measured by ELISA.

RESULTS: In the three groups of asthmatics, eotaxin-1 concentrations in EBC were significantly higher compared with healthy volunteers (steroid-naïve asthma: 9.70 pg/ml +/- 1.70, stable ICS-treated asthma: 10.45 +/- 2.00, unstable ICS-treated asthma: 17.97 +/- 3.60, healthy volunteers: 6.24 +/- 0.70). Eotaxin-1 levels were significantly higher in patients with unstable asthma than in the two groups with stable disease. We observed statistically significant correlations between the concentrations of eotaxin-1 in EBC and exhaled nitric oxide (F(ENO)) or serum eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) in the three studied groups of asthmatics. We also discovered a significantly positive correlation between eotaxin-1 in EBC and blood eosinophil count in the groups of patients with unstable asthma and steroid-naïve asthma.

CONCLUSIONS: Measurements of eotaxin-1 in the EBC of asthma patients may provide another useful diagnostic tool for detecting and monitoring airway inflammation and disease severity.

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