Author(s): Sirpa LeivoKorpela, Lauri Lehtimki
Adipokines are protein mediators secreted by adipose tissue. Recently, adipokines have also been involved in the regulation of inflammation and allergic responses, and suggested to affect the risk of asthma especially in obese female patients. We assessed if adipokines predict responsiveness to glucocorticoids and if plasma adipokine levels are associated with lung function or inflammatory activity also in non-obese (body mass index (BMI) ≤ 30 kg/m2) women with newly-diagnosed steroid-naïve asthma.
Lung function, exhaled NO, plasma levels of adipokines leptin, resistin, adiponectin and adipsin, and inflammatory markers were measured in 35 steroid-naïve female asthmatics and in healthy controls. The measurements were repeated in a subgroup of asthmatics after 8 weeks of treatment with inhaled fluticasone. Adipokine concentrations in plasma were adjusted for BMI.
High baseline resistin concentrations were associated with a more pronounced decrease in serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) (r = -0.745, p = 0.013), eosinophil protein X (EPX) (r = -0.733, p = 0.016) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) (r = -0.721, p = 0.019) during fluticasone treatment. In asthmatics, leptin correlated positively with asthma symptom score and negatively with lung function. However, no significant differences in plasma adipokine levels between non-obese asthmatics and healthy controls were found. The effects of resistin were also investigated in human macrophages in cell culture. Interestingly, resistin increased the production of proinflammatory factors IL-6 and TNF-α and that was inhibited by fluticasone.
High resistin levels predicted favourable anti-inflammatory effect of inhaled glucocorticoids suggesting that resistin may be a marker of steroid-sensitive phenotype in asthma. High leptin levels were associated with a more severe disease suggesting that the link between leptin and asthma is not restricted to obesity.Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology