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, 33 (2), 496-505

Elevated Complement Factor H Levels in Asthmatic Sputa


Elevated Complement Factor H Levels in Asthmatic Sputa

Zsóka Weiszhár et al. J Clin Immunol.


Background: The alternative pathway of the complement system is known to play a role in the generation of asthmatic airway inflammation, but its regulatory complement protein, factor H has not been investigated in this disease.

Purpose: Our aim was to determine the local bronchial complement factor H (CFH) levels in asthma, and to investigate its relationship with complement activation, systemic CFH concentrations and clinical characteristics of patients.

Methods: Induced sputum and plasma were collected from 21 healthy and 26 asthmatic subjects, and complement factor H and SC5b-9 concentrations were assessed by ELISA. Total protein concentrations were determined by biuret-reaction based microassay system from induced sputa.

Results: CFH was detectable in 81 % of healthy and 100 % of asthmatic subjects, while SC5b-9 exceeded the detection limit in 62 % of healthy subjects and 85 % of asthmatic patients. Sputum CFH concentrations and CFH/protein ratios were increased in samples from asthmatic patients, and correlated with loss of lung function, asthma control, severity and medication intensity, but not with plasma CFH concentrations. Sputum CFH/protein ratios were in positive correlation also with sputum eosinophilic cell counts in asthma. SC5b-9 concentrations were not higher in the asthmatic sputa, although they correlated with sputum CFH concentrations.

Conclusions: CFH level is elevated on asthmatic airway surface, and may be associated with uncontrolled inflammation in asthma.

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