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

Increased formation of the potent oxidant peroxynitrite in the airways of asthmatic patients is associated with induction of nitric oxide synthase: effect of inhaled glucocorticoid.

Peroxynitrite is a potent oxidant formed by the rapid reaction of the free radicals nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide. It causes airway hyperresponsiveness and airway epithelial damage, enhances inflammatory cell recruitment, and inhibits pulmonary surfactant. Asthma is characterized by increased airway hyperresponsiveness, airway epithelial shedding, and inflammation. We examined the production of peroxynitrite and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in airways of asthmatic patients compared to normal control subjects. We also performed a double-blind, crossover randomized-order, placebo-controlled study on 10 asthmatic patients to study the effects of inhaled glucocorticoid treatment (Budesonide) on the formation of peroxynitrite and NO. Fiberoptic bronchial biopsies were examined by immunohistochemistry with antiserum to nitrotyrosine, a marker of protein nitration by peroxynitrite. We also examined the expression of iNOS by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, and measured exhaled NO by chemiluminescence. We correlated the airway production of peroxynitrite with pulmonary functions and airway responsiveness. In airway passages of control subjects, there was weak or no nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity. In contrast, there was strong immunoreactivity for nitrotyrosine in the airway epithelium and inflammatory cells in the airways of persons with asthma. Budesonide treatment resulted in a significant reduction in nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity. Expression of iNOS was evident in the airway pithelium of controls and asthmatic patients, but was significantly more abundant in asthmatic patients. The presence of nitrotyrosine in the airway epithelium (r=-0.841, P<0.0001; r=-0.771, P=0.0004) and inflammatory cells (r=-0.727, P=0014; r=-0.681, P=0.004) correlated inversely with methacholine PC20 and forced expiratory volume in 1 s, respectively. Asthma is associated with increased peroxynitrite formation in the airways, which is reduced after Budesonide treatment. The potent oxidant peroxynitrite may contribute to airway obstruction and hyperresponsiveness and epithelial damage in asthma.[1]


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