Rationale: Although lipids, apolipoproteins, and lipoprotein particles are important modulators of inflammation, varying relationships exist between these parameters and asthma.
Objectives: To determine whether serum lipids and apolipoproteins correlate with the severity of airflow obstruction in subjects with atopy and asthma.
Methods: Serum samples were obtained from 154 atopic and nonatopic subjects without asthma, and 159 subjects with atopy and asthma. Serum lipid and lipoprotein levels were quantified using standard diagnostic assays and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Airflow obstruction was assessed by FEV1% predicted.
Measurements and main results: Serum lipid levels correlated with FEV1 only in the subjects with atopy and asthma. Serum levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) were positively correlated with FEV1 in subjects with atopy and asthma, whereas a negative correlation existed between FEV1 and serum levels of triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein B (apoB), and the apoB/apoA-I ratio. NMR spectroscopy identified a positive correlation between FEV1 and HDLNMR particle size, as well as the concentrations of large HDLNMR particles and total IDLNMR (intermediate-density lipoprotein) particles in subjects with atopy and asthma. In contrast, LDLNMR particle size and concentrations of LDLNMR and VLDLNMR (very-low-density lipoprotein) particles were negatively correlated with FEV1 in subjects with atopy and asthma.
Conclusions: In subjects with atopy and asthma, serum levels of apoA-I and large HDLNMR particles are positively correlated with FEV1, whereas serum triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and apoB are associated with more severe airflow obstruction. These results may facilitate future studies to assess whether apoA-I and large HDLNMR particles can reduce airflow obstruction and disease severity in asthma.
Keywords: airflow obstruction; apolipoproteins; asthma; lipids; lipoprotein particles.