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PLoS One. 2014 Mar 21;9(3):e91889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091889. eCollection 2014.

Betel chewing and arecoline affects eotaxin-1, asthma and lung function.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health, College of Health Science, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Center of Excellence for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 2Center of Excellence for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 3Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 4Center of Excellence for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Medicinal and Applied Chemistry, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 5Department of Dermatology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 6Center of Excellence for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; School of Dentistry, College of Dental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 7Environment-Omics-Diseases Research Center, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.
  • 8Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • 9Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, The Department of Psychiatry, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung. Taiwan; King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.
  • 10Universidade Federal de São Paulo - Psychobiology Department, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 11King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Betel nut is commonly used in many countries. Despite evidence suggesting an association with asthma, few studies have investigated the connection between betel nut use and asthma; thus, the underlying mechanism for the association with asthma is also unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between betel chewing and asthma as well as the associations of plasma arecoline (a biomarker for exposure) and eotaxin-1 (a potential mediator) with asthma and lung function.

METHODS:

We recruited 600 hospital-based asthmatic patients and 1200 age- and gender-matched community controls in southern Taiwan. To clarify the mechanism of action for eotaxin-1 in the association between betel chewing and asthma, we also designed an in vitro experiment to study the functional associations between arecoline exposure and eotaxin-1 levels.

RESULTS:

A significant association was found between asthma and current betel chewing (adjusted odds ratio 2.05, 95% CI = 1.12-3.76), which was independent of potential confounders but was attenuated following adjustment for eotaxin-1. Arecoline and eotaxin-1 levels were positively correlated (Spearman r = 0.303, p = 0.02), while arecoline and arecaidine were negatively correlated with lung function. Functionally, arecoline alone does not induce eotaxin-1 release in vitro from dermal and gingival fibroblasts. However, in the presence of IL-4 and TNF-alpha, arecoline at 100 μg/ml induced more eotaxin-1 release than arecoline at 0 μg/ml (2700±98 pg/ml vs 1850±142 pg/ml, p = 0.01 in dermal fibroblast cells, and 1489±78 pg/ml vs 1044±95 pg/ml, p = 0.03 in gingival fibroblast cells, respectively).

CONCLUSION:

Betel chewing is associated with asthma in this population, with arecoline induction of eotaxin-1 supported as a plausible causal pathway.

PMID:
24658613
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3962362
Free PMC Article
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