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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Nov 15;119(10):1114-7. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00076.2015. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

The effect of asthma on the perimeter of the airway basement membrane.

Author information

1
West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute, Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia; john.elliot@health.wa.gov.au.
2
Centre for Applied Statistics, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Research, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia;
3
Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia; and.
4
West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute, Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia;
5
West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute, Department of Pulmonary Physiology and Sleep Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia; School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia; and.
6
Department of Pathology, Foothills Hospital, and University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

When comparing the pathology of airways in individuals with and without asthma, the perimeter of the basement membrane (Pbm) is used as a marker of airway size, as it is independent of airway smooth muscle shortening or airway collapse. The extent to which the Pbm is itself altered in asthma has not been quantified. The aim of this study was to compare the Pbm from the same anatomical sites in postmortem lungs from subjects with (n = 55) and without (n = 30) asthma (nonfatal or fatal). Large and small airways were systematically sampled at equidistant "levels" from the apical segment of the left upper lobes and anterior and basal segments of the left lower lobes of lungs fixed in inflation. The length of the Pbm was estimated from cross sections of airway at each relative level. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the relationships between Pbm and sex, age, height, smoking status, airway level, and asthma group. The final model showed significant interactions between Pbm and airway level in small (<3 mm) airways, in subjects having asthma (P < 0.0001), and by sex (P < 0.0001). No significant interactions for Pbm between asthma groups were observed for larger airways (equivalent to a diameter of ∼3 mm and greater) or smoking status. Asthma is not associated with remodeling of the Pbm in large airways. In medium and small airways, the decrease in Pbm in asthma (≤20%) would not account for the published differences in wall area or area of smooth muscle observed in cases of severe asthma.

KEYWORDS:

asthma; basement membrane perimeter; remodeling

PMID:
26384408
DOI:
10.1152/japplphysiol.00076.2015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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