This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
A clear relationship between asthma and obesity has been reported, but the mechanisms remain unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of obesity on eosinophil activity (chemotaxis and adhesion) in asthmatic children and adolescents compared with cells from healthy volunteers.
Asthmatic obese (AO), asthmatic non-obese (ANO), non-asthmatic obese (NAO) and non-asthmatic non-obese (NANO) individuals were included in the present study. The chemotaxis of eosinophils after stimulation with eotaxin (300 ng/ml), platelet-activating factor (10 μM; PAF) and RANTES (100 ng/ml) was performed using a microchemotaxis chamber. The eosinophil peroxidase activity was measured to determine the adhesion activity of eosinophils cultivated on fibronectin-coated plates. The serum leptin, adiponectin, TNF-α and IgE levels were quantified using ELISA assays.
The serum IgE levels and eosinophil counts were significantly higher in asthmatic (obese and non-obese) individuals compared with non-asthmatic individuals (obese and non-obese). Spontaneous eosinophil chemotaxis was greater in the AO group compared with either the ANO or NANO groups. The activation of eosinophils using eotaxin and PAF increased eosinophil chemotaxis in the AO group. RANTES treatment increased eosinophil chemotaxis in the NAO group compared with the NANO or ANO groups. The activation of eosinophils using eotaxin significantly increased eosinophil adhesion in the AO group compared with other groups. The serum leptin and TNF-α levels were higher in obese subjects (asthmatic and non-asthmatic), whereas the levels of adiponectin did not significantly differ among these groups.
This study is the first to show increased eosinophilic activity (chemotaxis and adhesion) associated with high serum leptin and TNF-α levels in atopic asthmatic obese children and adolescents compared with non-obese healthy volunteers.