Author(s): Lipworth BJ, Hall IP, Tan S, Aziz I, Coutie W
BACKGROUND: Genetic polymorphism determines agonist-induced down-regulation and desensitization of beta2-adrenoceptors.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of genetic polymorphism on ex vivo (lymphocytes) and in vivo (bronchoprotection) function of beta2-adrenoceptors in asthmatic patients, having been washed out of previous beta2-agonist exposure.
METHODS: Sixty patients with stable mild-to-moderate asthma were evaluated, with a post hoc analysis of genotype performed at end of study. Having withheld treatment with long-acting beta2-agonists for > or = 48 h and short-acting beta2-agonists for > or = 12 h, measurements of lymphocyte beta2-adrenoceptors were made for binding density, binding affinity, basal cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), and maximal cAMP response to isoproterenol (Emax). In addition, in 48 of these patients who were methacholine responsive (PD20 < 1,000 microg), the acute protective effect of formoterol as a 24-microg single dose (at 1 h) was also evaluated. Comparisons were made according to homozygous and heterozygous (Het) polymorphisms at codon 16 and codon 27.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences in age, FEV1 percent predicted, or inhaled corticosteroid dose, when comparing mean values for polymorphisms at either codon-16 or codon 27. There were also no significant differences between polymorphisms for any of the measured lymphocyte beta2-adrenoceptor parameters apart from basal cAMP between Glu-27 and Het-27. Mean values for Emax (after-before isoproterenol as pmol/10(6) cells) were as follows: Gly-16 (3.4), Arg-16 (3.5), Het-16 (4.0), Glu-27 (3.9), Gln-27 (3.5), and Het-27 (3.7). Polylorphism had no significant effect on formoterol protection as doubling dose shift in methacholine PD20 (geometric mean): Gly-16 (5.3), Arg-16 (5.4), Het-16 (4.6), Glu-27 (5.3), Gln-27 (5.3), Het-27 (4.5).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that genetic polymorphism at codon 16 or 27 does not influence stimulated coupling of lymphocyte beta2-adrenoceptors and similarly did not influence the degree of functional antagonism exhibited by formoterol. Thus, a single dose of beta2-agonist when used on demand affords equal protection against bronchoprotection regardless of genetic polymorphism