Purpose: This proteomics study was designed to determine the utility of iTRAQ MALDI-TOF/TOF technology to compare plasma samples from carefully phenotyped mild, atopic asthma subjects undergoing allergen inhalation challenge.
Experimental design: Eight adult subjects with mild, allergic asthma (four early responders (ERs) and four dual responders (DRs)) participated in the allergen inhalation challenge. Blood samples were collected prior to and 2 h after the inhalation challenge. Sixteen plasma samples (two per subject), technical replicates, and pooled controls were analyzed using iTRAQ. Technical validation was performed using LC-MRM/MS. Moderated robust regression was used to determine differentially expressed proteins.
Results: Although this study did not show significant differences between pre- and post-challenge samples, discriminant analysis indicated that certain proteins responded differentially to allergen challenge with respect to responder type. At pre-challenge, fibronectin was significantly elevated in DRs compared to ERs and remained significant in the multiple reaction monitoring validation.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: This proof of principle demonstration has shown that iTRAQ can uncover differences in the human plasma proteome between two endotypes of asthma and merits further application of iTRAQ to larger cohorts of asthma and other respiratory diseases.
© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.