Background: Airway and vascular remodeling may play a prominent role in the clinical severity of severe refractory asthma (SRA). Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) is an essential mediator of angiogenesis by establishing vascular integrity, whereas angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) acts as its natural inhibitor. Objective: We aimed to determine the levels of angiopoietins in sputum supernatants of patients with SRA and to investigate the possible associations with mediators and cells involved in both the inflammatory and the vascular remodeling processes. Methods: Thirty-eight patients with SRA, 35 patients with moderate asthma, and 20 healthy subjects were studied. All participants underwent lung function tests, bronchial hyperresponsiveness assessment and sputum induction for cell count identification and Ang-1, Ang-2, VEGF, TGF-β1, Cys-LTs, MMP-2, IL-13, ECP, and IL-8 measurement in supernatants. Airway vascular permeability (AVP) index was also assessed. Results: Ang-1 (ng/ml) and Ang-2 (pg/ml) levels were significantly elevated in patients with SRA compared with patients with moderate asthma and control subjects [median, interquartile ranges: 30 (17-39) vs 7.5 (5-11) vs 4.7 (3.8-5.9) respectively, P < 0.001; and 506 (400-700) vs 190 (146-236) vs 96 (89-120) respectively, P < 0.001]. Regression analysis showed a significant positive association between Ang-2 and AVP index, MMP-2, Ang-1, and VEGF in SRA. A weak association was also observed between Ang-1 and sputum eosinophils% in SRA. Conclusion: Our results indicate that both angiopoietins levels are higher in SRA compared with moderate asthma and healthy subjects. In SRA, Ang-2 is associated with mediators involved in both the inflammatory and the vascular remodeling processes.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2012|