Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Invest. 1998 Feb 15;101(4):834-46.

Overexpression of leukotriene C4 synthase in bronchial biopsies from patients with aspirin-intolerant asthma.

Author information

  • 1University Medicine, Immunopharmacology Group, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, SO16 6YD, United Kingdom.


Aspirin causes bronchoconstriction in aspirin-intolerant asthma (AIA) patients by triggering cysteinyl-leukotriene (cys-LT) production, probably by removing PGE2-dependent inhibition. To investigate why aspirin does not cause bronchoconstriction in all individuals, we immunostained enzymes of the leukotriene and prostanoid pathways in bronchial biopsies from AIA patients, aspirin-tolerant asthma (ATA) patients, and normal (N) subjects. Counts of cells expressing the terminal enzyme for cys-LT synthesis, LTC4 synthase, were fivefold higher in AIA biopsies (11.5+/-2.2 cells/mm2, n = 10) than in ATA biopsies (2.2+/-0.7, n = 10; P = 0. 0006) and 18-fold higher than in N biopsies (0.6+/-0.4, n = 9; P = 0. 0002). Immunostaining for 5-lipoxygenase, its activating protein (FLAP), LTA4 hydrolase, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, and COX-2 did not differ. Enhanced baseline cys-LT levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid of AIA patients correlated uniquely with bronchial counts of LTC4 synthase+ cells (rho = 0.83, P = 0.01). Lysine-aspirin challenge released additional cys-LTs into BAL fluid in AIA patients (200+/-120 pg/ml, n = 8) but not in ATA patients (0. 7+/-5.1, n = 5; P = 0.007). Bronchial responsiveness to lysine-aspirin correlated exclusively with LTC4 synthase+ cell counts (rho = -0.63, P = 0.049, n = 10). Aspirin may remove PGE2-dependent suppression in all subjects, but only in AIA patients does increased bronchial expression of LTC4 synthase allow marked overproduction of cys-LTs leading to bronchoconstriction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Journal of Clinical Investigation Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center