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Original Research: ASTHMA |

Effect of Specific Allergen Inhalation on Serum Adiponectin in Human Asthma

Akshay Sood, MD, MPH, FCCP; Clifford Qualls, PhD; JeanClare Seagrave, PhD; Christine Stidley, PhD; Tereassa Archibeque, RRT; Marianne Berwick, PhD; Mark Schuyler, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Medicine (Drs. Sood, Stidley, Berwick, and Schuyler, and Ms. Archibeque) and Clinical Translational Sciences Center (Dr. Qualls), University of New Mexico School of Medicine; and Experimental Toxicology Program (Dr. Seagrave), Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM.

Correspondence to: Akshay Sood, MD, MPH, FCCP, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, 1 University of New Mexico, MSC 10 5550, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001; e-mail: asood@salud.unm.edu


This work was performed at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

This work was supported by University of New Mexico Clinical Translational Science Center grant No. NIH NCRR M01-RR-00997 and University of New Mexico Research Allocation Committee grant C-2290T.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).

For editorial comment see page 255


Chest. 2009;135(2):287-294. doi:10.1378/chest.08-1705
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Background:  Adiponectin is associated with asthma. The direction of this association is not known in humans. In mice, this association is bidirectional: allergen inhalation affects serum adiponectin, and exogenous adiponectin administration affects asthma. We sought to evaluate whether allergen inhalation affects serum adiponectin in human asthma.

Methods:  This study included eight sensitized subjects with mild asthma and six healthy control subjects. Asthmatic subjects were challenged with inhaled specific allergen (positive allergen skin test), methacholine, and irrelevant allergen (negative allergen skin test). Control subjects were challenged with irrelevant allergen. Sequential serum samples were obtained before and nine times after each challenge. Serum adiponectin- (primary outcome), leptin-, adiponectin-to-leptin ratio-, eotaxin-, and tumor necrosis factor-α–response curves, area under the curves, and baseline and peak concentrations were evaluated. Statistical analysis used repeated-measures analysis of variance and paired t tests.

Results:  There were no significant differences in outcome measures among the challenges in asthmatic subjects or when compared to control subjects. Type II error is an unlikely explanation for these findings because the study was adequately powered to detect changes in serum adiponectin, as reported in the literature. Further, pooled data showed that serum adiponectin diurnal variation curves were lower in asthmatic subjects than in control subjects.

Conclusions:  Serum adiponectin concentrations are lower in asthmatic subjects than in control subjects. Specific allergen inhalation in asthmatic subjects does not acutely affect serum adiponectin concentrations. The reverse association (ie, effect of adiponectin on asthma) needs further study. If future studies prove adiponectin to be a protective factor for asthma, modulating adiponectin may open a new approach toward managing asthma.

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