Increases in airway eosinophilia and a th1 cytokine during the chronic asymptomatic phase of asthma

Chang Keun Kim, Jungi Choi, Zak Callaway, Koji Iijima, Gerald Volcheck, Hirohito Kita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Studies using allergen challenge models have suggested Th2 cytokines promote airway inflammation in asthma. We assessed mediators of airway inflammation during the chronic asymptomatic phase of asthma. Methods: Nine non-atopic asthma (NAA) patients, 19 atopic asthma (AA) patients, 20 atopic controls (AC), and 38 normal controls (NC) underwent sputum induction while asymptomatic. Sputum total cell counts and differentials were determined; levels of cytokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, GM-CSF, and IFN-γ, and chemokines eotaxin (CCL11) and RANTES (CCL5) were measured by ELISA; and levels of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) were measured by radioimmunoassay. Results: NAA patients showed higher % eosinophils and total eosinophils compared to AA. NAA and AA patients showed higher IFN-γ and EDN levels compared to AC and NC, with no differences in IL-4, IL-5, or IL-13 levels among the four groups. GM-CSF levels were higher in AA patients compared to AC or NC. In NAA, AA, and AC patients, % eosinophils and EDN levels correlated positively with IFN-γ, GM-CSF, eotaxin, and RANTES, but not with IL-5 levels. Conclusions: Baseline airway inflammation of intrinsic and extrinsic asthma is characterized by eosinophilic inflammation and the Th1 cytokine, IFN-γ. GM-CSF, instead of IL-5, and chemokines may coordinate airway eosinophilia during the chronic asymptomatic phase of asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1436-1443
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Cytokine
  • Eosinophil
  • Intrinsic asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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