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PLoS One. 2015 Jul 6;10(7):e0132007. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132007. eCollection 2015.

Platelets from Asthmatic Individuals Show Less Reliance on Glycolysis.

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Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.
Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
Lerner Research Institute, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.
Vascular Medicine Institute, Dept of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, Center for Metabolism and Mitochondrial Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.


Asthma, a chronic inflammatory airway disease, is typified by high levels of TH2-cytokines and excessive generation of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species, which contribute to bronchial epithelial injury and airway remodeling. While immune function plays a major role in the pathogenesis of the disease, accumulating evidence suggests that altered cellular metabolism is a key determinant in the predisposition and disease progression of asthma. Further, several studies demonstrate altered mitochondrial function in asthmatic airways and suggest that these changes may be systemic. However, it is unknown whether systemic metabolic changes can be detected in circulating cells in asthmatic patients. Platelets are easily accessible blood cells that are known to propagate airway inflammation in asthma. Here we perform a bioenergetic screen of platelets from asthmatic and healthy individuals and demonstrate that asthmatic platelets show a decreased reliance on glycolytic processes and have increased tricarboxylic acid cycle activity. These data demonstrate a systemic alteration in asthma and are consistent with prior reports suggesting that oxidative phosphorylation is more efficient asthmatic individuals. The implications for this potential metabolic shift will be discussed in the context of increased oxidative stress and hypoxic adaptation of asthmatic patients. Further, these data suggest that platelets are potentially a good model for the monitoring of bioenergetic changes in asthma.

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