Zsófia Gál1, András Gézsi1, Mónika Sándorné Vángor1, Nóra Fekete1, Éva Pállinger1, Csaba Szalai1
1 Semmelweis University, Department of Genetics, Cell- and Immunobiology, Budapest
Introduction: It has been discovered that neutrophils beside degranulation and phagocytosis can form extracellular traps (NETs) to different triggers. Traps consist of network of DNA, histone and antimicrobial proteases. This is a double-edged sword, as it helps to protect ourselves from pathogens, while released molecules can induce an inflammatory process causing tissue damage. Based on these, the role of extracellular traps can be assumed in asthma and COPD.
Aims: As neutrophils can contribute to the symptoms of asthma and COPD, we investigated the possible role of NET in these diseases.
Method: The presence of trap specific molecules was examined by flow cytometry in plasma samples. We investigated 67 platelet free plasma samples from adult and childhood asthmatic patients, 11 COPD samples and 23 samples from controls. We used two different antibodies and one dye to the following targets: myeloperoxidase, DNA, citrullinated (H3) histone. Because of multiple hypothesis testing, p-values were corrected by Benjamini-Hochberg's false discovery rate.
Results: Based on our measurement, NET level correlated with asthma severity (p=0.018). Furthermore, significant differences were found between patients with FEV1 under 80% compared to patients above (p=0.027), suggesting that the level of NET could be related to the state of control. In addition, in studying medication of the patients, we found that those who did not use any medications to control their asthma showed higher levels of NET. In COPD, patients showed increased levels of NET compared to asthmatic patients.
Conclusion: According to our results, formation of NETs contributes to the symptoms of asthma. In non-controlled asthma group where there is not any efficient medicine, NET can be a new therapeutic target.
Doctoral School: Molecular Medicine
Program: Basis of Human Molecular Genetics and Gene Diagnostics
Supervisor: Csaba Szalai
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