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Eicosanoid mediator expression in mononuclear and polymorphonuclear cells in normal subjects and patients with atopic asthma and cystic fibrosis.
  1. L. M. Kuitert,
  2. R. Newton,
  3. N. C. Barnes,
  4. I. M. Adcock,
  5. P. J. Barnes
  1. Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, UK.


    BACKGROUND: Eicosanoids such as leukotrienes, prostaglandins, lipoxins, and 15-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (15-HETE) cause bronchoconstriction, increased microvascular permeability, mucus secretion, and polymorph chemotaxis. These pro-inflammatory effects are important in diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis where the levels of mediators are increased both in the stable and acute state. A study was conducted to examine the expression of the mRNA for the enzymes of the eicosanoid pathways (5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), 5-lipoxygenase activating protein (FLAP), cyclo-oxygenases 1 and 2 (COX-1, COX-2), and 15-lipoxygenase (15-LO)) in normal subjects and in patients with stable atopic asthma and stable cystic fibrosis. METHODS: Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to examine the expression of total RNA for 5-LO, FLAP, COX-1, COX-2, and 15-LO in peripheral blood polymorphonuclear cells and mononuclear cells from the three subjects groups. RESULTS: The expression of mRNA for 5-LO and FLAP was similar in normal subjects and in patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis. COX-1 was increased in both cell types in asthmatic patients. COX-2 and 15-LO were increased in polymorphs of patients with atopic asthma but not in mononuclear cells. COX-2 and 15-LO were undetectable in either cell type in patients with cystic fibrosis whereas COX-1 levels in polymorphs were similar to those in patients with asthma. CONCLUSIONS: The increased leukotriene production in asthma and cystic fibrosis is not explained by an increase in transcription of 5-LO and FLAP. Transcription of 15-LO and COX-2 is increased in atopic asthma. Transcription of COX-1 is increased in both atopic asthma and cystic fibrosis.

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