Study objective: Eosinophilic infiltration of airway tissue is a central feature of aspirin-induced asthma (AIA). Eotaxins belong to the family of CC chemokines, which coordinate the recruitment of inflammatory cells bearing chemokine (C-C motif) receptor-3 to sites of allergic inflammation. In the present study, the levels of eotaxin-1, eotaxin-2, and eotaxin-3 following an oral aspirin provocation test (APT) were measured, and the relationship between the eotaxin level and clinical parameters in patients with asthma was evaluated.
Patients and design: An APT was performed in patients with asthma. Twenty AIA patients and 23 aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA) patients were identified. Plasma levels of eotaxin-1, eotaxin-2, and eotaxin-3 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the 43 patients with asthma and in 39 control subjects.
Results: The proportion of blood eosinophils was significantly higher in asthmatic patients than in control subjects. Nasal polyps were more common in AIA patients than in ATA patients (p < 0.05). In addition, the eotaxin-1 level was higher in AIA and ATA patients than in control subjects (p < 0.01 for each). The eotaxin-2 level was higher in ATA patients than in either the AIA patients (p < 0.05) or control subjects (p < 0.01). Similarly, the eotaxin-3 level was higher in ATA patients than in control subjects. A trend toward higher plasma levels of eotaxin-1 and eotaxin-3 at baseline and at 4 h after APT administration in the ATA group was noted but was not significant. Eotaxin-2 was also higher in ATA patients than in AIA patients at baseline and at 4 h after the APT.
Conclusion: This study shows that eotaxin-2 is differentially secreted in patients with asthma according to aspirin intolerance, and that secretion is not time-dependent in response to the APT in AIA and ATA patients. It therefore appears that eotaxin-2 may be up-regulated and may act differentially in patients with ATA.