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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of beclomethasone dipropionate on basic fibroblast growth factor levels in induced sputum samples from asthmatic patients.

BACKGROUND: Airway remodeling in asthma refers to certain structural changes and is regulated by several growth factors. One molecule of potential relevance to these pathologic changes is basic fibroblast growth factor ( bFGF). OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between bFGF levels and type III collagen synthesis in asthmatic airways and the effect of inhaled corticosteroid therapy on bFGF levels. METHODS: We simultaneously measured bFGF, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and procollagen type III peptide (P-III-P) levels in induced sputum samples from 17 asthmatic patients and 10 controls. Sputum induction was performed before and after 1 year of inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate therapy. RESULTS: Before beclomethasone dipropionate therapy, mean (SD) VEGF and bFGF levels were significantly higher in asthmatic patients (VEGF: 4270 [650] pg/mL; bFGF: 46.4 [20.0] pg/mL; P < .001 for both) than in controls (VEGF: 1730 [1140] pg/mL; bFGF: 6.0 [3.0] pg/mL). Although P-III-P was detected in none of the controls, P-III-P levels could be measured in all the asthmatic patients. No significant correlation was found between P-III-P and VEGF levels in asthmatic patients. However, a close correlation was found between bFGF and P-III-P levels in these patients (r = 0.84; P < .001). After 1 year of beclomethasone dipropionate therapy, VEGF levels were significantly decreased, whereas bFGF and P-III-P levels did not differ before vs after therapy. There remained a significant correlation between bFGF and P-III-P levels even after beclomethasone dipropionate therapy. CONCLUSIONS: A close correlation between bFGF and P-III-P levels was observed in asthmatic airways. However, corticosteroid therapy might not prevent airway remodeling via the bFGF-dependent pathway.[1]


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