Dysregulated Metabolism in the Pathophysiology of Non-Allergic Obese Asthma.

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Asthma is an obstructive airway disease that is characterized by reversible airway obstruction and is classically associated with atopic, TH2 driven inflammation. Landmark studies in the second half of the twentieth century identified eosinophils as a key mediator of inflammation and steroids, both inhaled and systemic, as a cornerstone of therapy. However, more recently other phenotypes of asthma have emerged that do not respond as well to traditional therapies. In particular, obese patients who develop asthma as adults are less likely to have eosinophilic airway inflammation and do not respond to traditional therapies. Obese patients often have metabolic comorbidities such as impaired glucose tolerance and dyslipidemias, also known as metabolic syndrome (MetS). The unified pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome is not known, however, several signaling pathways, such as the neuropeptide glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and nitric oxide (NO) signaling have been shown to be dysregulated in MetS. These pathways are targeted by commercially available medications. This review discusses the potential roles that dysregulation of the GLP-1 and NO signaling pathways, along with arginine metabolism, play in the development of asthma in obese patients. GLP-1 receptors are found in high density in the lung and are also detectable in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. NO has long been associated with asthma. We hypothesize that these derangements in metabolic signaling pathways underpin the asthmatic phenotype seen in obese patients with non-eosinophilic airway inflammation and poor response to established therapies. While still an active area of research, novel interventions are needed for this subset of patient who respond poorly to available asthma therapies.





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McCravy, Matthew, Jennifer L Ingram and Loretta G Que (2021). Dysregulated Metabolism in the Pathophysiology of Non-Allergic Obese Asthma. Journal of asthma and allergy, 14. pp. 179–186. 10.2147/jaa.s282284 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/25425.

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Jennifer Leigh Ingram

Associate Professor in Medicine

Dr. Ingram's research interests focus on the study of airway remodeling in human asthma. Proliferation, migration, and invasion of airway fibroblasts are key features of airway remodeling that contribute to diminished lung function over time. Dr. Ingram uses molecular biology approaches to define the effects of interleukin-13 (IL-13), a cytokine abundantly produced in the asthmatic airway, in the human airway fibroblast. She has identified important regulatory functions of several proteins prevalent in asthma that control fibroblast growth and pro-fibrotic growth factor production in response to IL-13. By understanding these pathways and their role in human asthma and the chronic effects of airway remodeling, novel treatment strategies may be developed.


Loretta Georgina Que

Professor of Medicine

My research interests focus on studying the role of nitric oxide and related enzymes in the pathogenesis of lung disease, specifically that caused by nitrosative/oxidative stress. Proposed studies are performed in cell culture and applied to animal models of disease, then examined in human disease where relevant. It is our hope that by better understanding the role of NO and reactive nitrogen species in mediating inflammation, and regulating cell signaling, that we will not only help to unravel the basic mechanisms of NO related lung disease, but also provide a rationale for targeted therapeutic use of NO.

Key words: nitrosative defense, lung injury, nitric oxide

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