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Increased Circulating Fibrocytes in Asthmatic Patients with Severe OSA
PDPI Malang, 04 Jul 2019 10:32:02


Background: Circulating fibrocytes play an important role in airway remodeling of asthma, partly through up-regulation of endothelin A receptor (ETAR) to mediate connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) induced growth and differentiation. Asthmatics with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have accelerated decline in pulmonary function. We hypothesize asthmatics with severe OSA may have increased circulating fibrocytes and up-regulated ETAR expression.

Methods: Circulating fibrocytes, identified by co-expression of CD34, CD45 and collagen I, from 13 asthmatic patients with severe OSA and 11 asthmatics without OSA were measured their proliferation and differentiation capacity. ETAR and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression on fibrocytes were determined by flowcytometry.

Measurements and Main Results: Asthmatics with severe OSA had higher number and ETAR expression of circulating fibrocytes than asthmatics without OSA. The yearly decline in FEV1 correlated with the number of circulating fibrocytes (R2 = 0.337). After being cultured, fibrocytes from asthmatics with OSA increased proliferation and differentiation than those from asthmatics without OSA. ETAR antagonist (BQ123) and anti-CTGF antibody significantly reduced fibrocytes from asthmatics with OSA differentiation into α-SMA+ myofibroblasts.

Conclusions: Circulating fibrocytes are increased in asthmatics with severe OSA, resulting in higher proliferation and differentiation through up-regulated ETAR expression. Circulating fibrocytes may contribute to airway remodeling in asthmatics with OSA.

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