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Severe Asthma Research - November 2015

Christina E Ciaccio, MD, MSc

Christina E Ciaccio, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
University of Chicago Medicine
Comer Children’s Hospital
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Activated p38 MAPK in Peripheral Blood Monocytes of Steroid Resistant Asthmatics

Some asthmatics do not respond to glucocorticoid therapy. This group previous demonstrated that bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of steroid resistant (SR) asthmatics contains high levels of Gram-negative LPS producing bacteria and endotoxin. Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways are involved in LPS induced inflammation. These authors therefore set up to determine if MAPK activation in peripheral blood could serve as a biomarker for severe asthma. Blood samples were obtained from 13 adults with SR asthma and 11 adults with steroid sensitive (SS) asthma. SR asthmatics were found to have an increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in PMBC extracts compared to SS asthmatics. Further, this group found that activated p38 was increased in CD14+ monocytes in SR compared to SS asthmatics. Finally, p38 inhibitor was found to enhance dexamethasone suppression of IL-8 mRNA after LPS activation of PBMC of SR asthmatics. The authors concluded that p38 and MSK1 phosphorylation may serve as a blood biomarker of SR. If further studies corroborate these results, we may have an exciting new tool to assist with phenotyping and management of difficult to control asthma.

Source: Li, LB, Leung DYM, Goleva E. Activated p38 MAPK in Peripheral Blood Monocytes of Steroid Resistant Asthmatics. PLoS One 2015; 10(10): e0141909. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141909)

Full Text, Open Access